Don’t Forget Hunter’s Safety
It’s prime time for hunter’s safety courses, which is a requirement for any sportsman looking to head afield during the Wyoming 2019 hunting season.
Last week, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department announced they would begin accepting big game applications for the upcoming hunting season, offering wide and coveted opportunities for resident and non-resident hunters to step into the legendary Wyoming wilderness in search of game.
But before suiting up, grabbing that rifle, or setting that alarm clock for an ungodly hour, remember that Wyoming requires any and all hunters born after Jan. 1, 1966, to have a hunter’s safety certification.
Hunter’s safety courses are offered statewide, beginning in January and ending in March, though some classes may be offered by volunteers later in the year.
“If you’re a new hunter, now is a good time to take a hunter education course,” George Oberstadt, game and fish hunter education coordinator, said in a statement. “Taking a class early gives you time before hunting season to practice with your firearm or bow and learn more skills before your first hunt.”
Courses can be taken in person or aspiring hunters may enroll in an online class, a good option for those who can’t make it to a regular course or wish to work at their own pace, according the WGFD.
Online courses still require students to attend a field day before earning their hunter education certification.
“The major purpose of hunter education is to promote safe and ethical hunting while teaching skills that will prevent hunting and firearm-related accidents,” Oberstadt continued.
“The course enhances knowledge about the tradition of hunting and focuses on hunting responsibilities.”
There is no age minimum for taking a hunter’s safety course in the state, but residents should be aware that most of the material is written at a fourth-grade reading level.
There are exceptions to the Jan. 1, 1966 rule. Qualified military or law enforcement members may apply through a game and fish office for a hunter’s safety exemption.
There is also the Wyoming hunter mentor program to consider if an aspiring hunter does not yet wish to enroll in hunter’s safety, which allows any person to take wildlife while accompanied by a mentor who has successfully completed a hunter’s safety course.
Wyoming does accept certifications from other states, but proof is required to be on their person and accessible in the field.