Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hunter Safety Classes: Elmer Fudd needed them

Last fall, my son and I took a Hunter Safety Course.  I mainly took it because he needed to take one, but I also wanted to see what they taught.  It was several nights long, a couple hours a night.  Really not a big chunk of time.  Shoot (haha, get it, shoot and a hunting class?), I spent more time at football practice with him.  So I dove in.

I had told several people about the class.  It ended up being a blast.  My sister, my son's friend, a customer of mine and his wife- by the way, I think that could be sung to the tune of Gilligan's Island!  Those were just the people at my table.  My neighbors were there, as well as, some other friends!  So I can say, I was quiet comfortable.  The teacher was knowledgeable and accessible.  He patiently answered questions.  We watched videos and at the end of the week I had my Hunter Safety Certificate.  Simple.

I did learn some things in the class:
#1- People are not as knowledgeable about hunting as they think they are.  They had a video titled "Shoot or Don't Shoot".  In the video, they went over various scenarios to shoot at game or not.  One scenario was a guy deer hunting sitting by a tree and looking into some brush.  He saw what looked like a deer in the brush, but it was hard to identify.  It came closer, he still couldn't identify.  The instructor stopped the class and said "Shoot or Don't Shoot?"  I would say at least half of the people said, "Shoot!"  That's a little scary considering there were about 50 people in the class, maybe more.  He turned the video back on and it showed a hunter coming out of the brush carrying a deer on his back.  Ok, obviously this was lame.  What kind of fool... Almost got into a rant there.  Anyways, even though it was seemed ridiculous, it happens every year.  This one happened last year in Virginia- 
It's pretty simple, if you can't see it clearly, don't shoot!

#2 Blaze Orange Saves Lives- He told the story of how the Blaze Orange Law came into effect.  A tragic hunting story years ago, but it still continues even though it's the law to wear orange.  In 2009, a college student was killed while walking in the woods during hunting season  This is a sad story for both sides.  Apparently the students didn't have on blaze orange and the hunter, did what we talked about in the first point. Now, a family has lost a daughter and a hunter has year in jail and a lot of guilt on his heart.  So, whether you hunt or not, please wear Blaze Orange out in the woods during hunting season, especially you hikers.  You can buy a vest at our store for under $3.  Isn't your life worth that?

#3 We are the best examples to our kids of how to enjoy the outdoors.  The kids in that class were there with their parents or adults who took the time to take them.  If you know a kid who likes the outdoors and the parents aren't interested in taking them to the class, ask if you can take that child.  Single moms, don't be intimidated.  It's not that hard, unless you're a little squeamish about cleaning game.  We'll talk about that another time!

I hope you take the class if you get a chance.  One day, I would like to teach it.  I just have to get the time to take the training course!  Here is a link to the classes:
If you put in your zip code, you can get the classes closest to you.  If you plan on hunting, please take the time to take this course.  When you're ready for your license, come by the store and I'll sell you one!

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