Field day for Hunter Ed course offered Saturday, Oct. 3 in Dillingham

Sep 23, 2015

Shooting safety, marksmanship, and other practical applications required for Hunter Ed certificate.

On Saturday, October 3, the Department of Fish and Game office in Dillingham will offer the field day portion of the standard Hunter Education course. KDLG’s Dave Bendinger has more:

KDLG transcript below:

Most of the Hunter Ed course is done online, but earning the certificate requires a field portion doing some practical exercise. Area wildlife biologist Neil Barten will be hosting and helping teach the upcoming field day in Dillingham.

"We spend a few hours in the office talking about what Hunter Ed is all about," he said, describing the day's agenda. "We go through different types of firearms, and how to handle them, load and unload them. Then we'll go out to the rifle range and actually do a proficiency test where they have to shoot at a target and hit a certain number within a two inch circle to qualify."

There are other practical application exercises at the range too, like some shoot / no-shoot tests that help work in wildlife conservation knowledge alongside safety and marksmanship.

"The end result from of the Hunter Education class, aside from a lot of knowledge you gain on various subjects associated with wildlife management, is really about firearms safety and handling," said Barten. "By the end of the class, it almost becomes muscle memory how to handle firearms, how to pass them to someone else safely, which I think is really good."

Hunter Ed participants tend to be younger, but the course and upcoming field day are open to anybody. Barten says that's for good reason: a Hunter Ed certificate is required to hunt on a lot of public lands in the lower 48, and in other parts of Alaska too.

About ten people are signed up for the upcoming field day, though the class can accommodate a total of 24.

"Even though this course is coming up quick, we can throw together other courses between the fall and next spring, and try to get back on track with two or three times a year where we can offer courses and try to keep people up to speed on hunter education," said Barten.

The online portion takes 4-6 hours to complete and costs $15 after completion.