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Hunter Education Classes

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The time for training is before you get On the Game Trail

Are you or your children interested in hunting and have never hunted in Idaho or another state? Well, it’s time to get signed up for an Idaho Hunter Education course so you all can begin the process of becoming a sportsman.

Idaho Code Chapter 4, Title 36-411 states that anyone born after January 1, 1975 must complete an approved hunter education course to purchase an Idaho hunting license unless the person has held a valid hunting license in Idaho or another state, or the person has proof of completion of an approved hunter education course from another state.

Over 12,000 students are certified annually by 850 highly qualified hunter education instructors. Most of these instructors are volunteers in our communities who have dedicated themselves to teaching youth and adults about being ethical and responsible hunters—my hat’s off to those men and women.

How long is this course and what can I expect? The traditional classroom course is approximately 20 hours in length and includes a range and live-fire exercise. Topics covered include safe handling and operation of firearms, ammunition, archery and various hunting equipment, hunter responsibilities and ethics, wildlife management and conservation, hunting regulations, and other related information. 

Are there age requirements for signing up for the class? Nine years old. They must meet the knowledge and skill standards outlined in the course curriculum to receive their course certificate. However, course graduates will not be able to purchase a hunting license until their tenth birthday.

Is there only a classroom course or are there other options? Yes, the Internet option is available for students 10 years old and above. Following completion of the online course, students must also attend a 6- to 7-hour field day to receive their certification. With that being said, I really recommend the classroom course for children under 18; most kids get a lot more out of the classroom setting. 

I want to archery hunt but I already have my Hunter Education Certification. Do I have to take bowhunter education too? To purchase an archery-only permit in Idaho, all bowhunters must show proof they have completed the Idaho Bowhunter Education Course, or an approved bow hunter education course from another state, or show evidence of being previously licensed for an archery-only hunt in Idaho or another state.

How long is the bowhunter education course? The bowhunter course averages about 12 hours. Topics include bowhunting techniques, ethics, shot selection and placement, the blood trail, safety, tree stands, and understanding your individual limitations and abilities

How do I sign up for these courses? Go to our website (http://fishandgame.idaho.gov) and click on the education tab. Select the course you’re interested in and find a location near you. 

Another exciting option for children between the ages 10-12 is the ICOA Youth Camp. The Idaho Conservation Officers Association has developed a Youth Conservation Camp to encourage children to learn outdoor skills. ICOA was formed in September of 1976 and is an independent employee association representing Idaho conservation officers that work for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. ICOA is an independent, non-profit organization that acquires its own funding to conduct their objectives. And one of our objectives is to “Cultivate in young people a respect for natural resources.”  

The 2010 Youth Conservation Camp will be held August 12-16, 2013 in Cascade, Idaho at the Trinity Pines Camp and Conference Facility. The facility is top notch and will provide an outstanding setting for the camp. You can get a glimpse of the facility online at www.tpines.org/. We are extremely proud to offer youth between the ages of 10-12 an opportunity to have hands-on experience, instructed by conservation officers from across the state, in hunting, fishing, and trapping activities. Also, there will be a ropes course that instills team building, goal setting, and self-confidence lessons. This opportunity is being provided on a first come, first serve basis to the first 30 youth. Cost per camper is $255. We are encouraging churches, sportsmans’ associations, or any other group to sponsor a child that would benefit from our Conservation Camp. Applications will be made available on the ICOA website at icoaonline.org starting in April. 

The Bonner County Sportsmen’s Association is offering two $500 Scholarships for the ICOA Youth camp in honor of Leo Hadley and other outstanding sportsmen and women. The scholarships will be awarded to Bonner County students planning to advance their education, and who are interested in outdoor and conservation activities, have completed a Hunter Education program, and may have personal or family participation in local sportsman and civic organizations. Please contact Cathie Malison for scholarship details at [email protected] 

I would really encourage you to get your kids to this camp, it’s an outstanding experience and they will be Hunter Education certified upon graduation of the class. I am a camp counselor at our youth camp and I have not seen a disappointed kid yet! Anybody with questions about the camp can call or email me.

Leave No Child Inside... and get them signed up for Hunter Education!

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Author info

Matt Haag Matt Haag is an Idaho Fish and Game Conservation Officer.

Tagged as:

hunter education, out of state hunting, bowhunter education

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