For over 40 years, hunter education has been considered a must to keep North Dakotas safe while hunting.
“I took my hunting education classes when I was – I guess just old enough to go into classes,” Wyatt Kitzman said.
Hunters 12 and older must take education before they can get a firearms or bow hunting license in the state.
“When you go hunting, you mostly hunt with your family and friends, so safety is our number one goal,” said Justin Hughes, a hunter training instructor.
The program started in 1979 and is approaching a new stage. It will reach 250,000 students who have successfully completed the course in North Dakota.
This is in part thanks to the more than 700 volunteers who teach classes each year, with a focus on gun safety.
“You’re doing a gun function check,” Hughes said. “Tell me what kind of action and security this is. We cross a fence alone, then we cross a fence with a partner so two people crossing a fence. How to get in and out of a vehicle.
The goal is to make North Dakota safe not only for hunters, but also for landowners and citizens across the state.
“It becomes second nature after a while, but it makes you think about what might happen or try to avoid dangerous situations,” Kitzman said.
Hughes says if you want to take a class, register as early as possible because classes fill up quickly.
“When you go to the Game and Fish website, if you can’t find a course you want to take, ask for the emails and texts they send,” Hughes said.
He also says that volunteer instructors are always needed.
“I love to do it. So it’s one of those things that makes you feel warm and fuzzy when you do it, ”Hughes said.
- If you would like to register for a hunting education course, Click here.
- If you want to become a volunteer instructor, Click here.