Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sign up early for MDC's hunter education certification

Required hunter education program teaches ethics, skills and safety

Kansas City, Mo. – Hunting seasons will approach quickly as summer wanes. Now is a good time to become hunter education certified through the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) training to be prepared for autumn hunts. Missouri’s Hunter Education Course is required for anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1967, and buys a firearms season hunting permit, or any person age 11 to 15 who hunts alone. The course teaches safety, skills and ethics.
   MDC provides several ways to become hunter education certified. The course is divided into a knowledge section and a skills session that includes an exam. Both the knowledge and skills portion must be completed to become certified.
   For the knowledge section, an online study program is available. Participants must complete all chapter reviews online to take the skills session. The cost for those who complete the course and pass the exam is $15. Participants can also obtain study guides for free at MDC offices or by ordering them online. They must present completed chapter reviews in the study guide to instructors at the skills session.   MDC also offers a free, four-hour classroom session for learning the hunter education requirements that includes lectures, videos and filling out chapter reviews.
   Missouri Hunter Education skills sessions are offered at varying dates at MDC offices and nature centers, as well as at conservation partner locations. In the Kansas City area,  MDC’s Lake City Shooting Range and Parma Woods Shooting Range are among the sites that offer skills sessions, which include hands-on safety demonstrations and exams. Several other sites also offer skills sessions including MDC offices in Sedalia and St. Joseph.
   Hunter education certification classes and skills sessions often fill up early. The skills sessions require advance registration. Some sessions in August are already full. But more sessions may be added in autumn months.
   MDC’s Hunter Education Course has a webpage that will lead to links to use the online study guide, to order printed study guides, to find class schedules, to find outdoor skills sessions, or to register for a session. Visit http://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/hunter-education-skills-training.
    Hunter education has reduced hunting accidents and deaths by more than 70 percent since it became mandatory in 1987. MDC recommends that all hunters become hunter-education certified. The program also provides training that can make participants more successful as hunters. They will learn about wildlife conservation and management.
   Missouri is a great place to hunt. For more information, visit http://www.mdc.mo.gov.