Time to schedule MDC Hunter Education classes

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Pictured above, Dr. Jarod Grantland and his faithful companion, Naida, were poised for the hunt on Aug. 31, opening day of dove season. Grantland is a veterinarian at the Animal Clinic of Monett and a native of Alabama, who raised and trained his hunting partner, Naida, while in school at Auburn University. Naida went on her first hunting trip at seven months old and hasn't left Grantland's side since. [Times Photo by Jon Whitlock]

"Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish," said Warren Rose, Outreach and Education for the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Southwest Region. "The Missouri Department of Conservation promotes safe, knowledgeable and ethical hunting through their Hunter Education and training program."

Hunter Education classes fill up quickly, hunters who need certification should take the course early to avoid the typical fall rush for classes.

Hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1967 must complete an approved hunter education course and must provide a Hunter Education Certificate to purchase a permit to hunt with firearms. Hunters must be at least 11 years old to receive the certification. Youths age six through 15 can hunt without certification, when accompanied by a qualified adult who are certified, unless exempt by their age.

MDC also recommends that youth hunters begin with an adult mentor to become familiar with hunting and it's terminology before taking the course. Hunters who have completed an approved Hunter Education course in another state are not required to take Missouri's Hunter Education course.

MDC also offers an Apprentice Hunter Authorization that allows people 16 years and older to hunt without requiring certification. The apprentice must hunt with an adult who is certified in Hunter Education, unless exempt by age.

The Department of Conservation recently revised its Hunter Education curriculum to enhance student convenience, emphasize mentorship and increase hands-on training.

The new more flexible program is divided into two parts.

The first part provides knowledge about hunting equipment, safety and ethics. Students are given three options; an online course, a self-paced student manual or a four-hour class session.

After completing one of the three course options, all students must complete the second part of the Hunter Education procedure, a hands-on skill session.

The sessions are four-hours long and include hands-on activities with video-based discussions. These session include a mandatory 35-question multiple-choice exam that is based largely on knowledge that has been gained from the learning and skill sessions.

Students that opt for the four-hour course with a skill session should note that the two sessions are registered for separately, even if they take place on the same day at the same location.

After successful completion of both portions of the course students will receive a temporary certificate that allows them to hunt while their permanent Hunter Education Card is being processed.

Hunter education manuals can be ordered by visiting mdc.mo.gov/node/23045.

For more information visit your nearest Missouri Department of Conservation office or mdc.mo.gov/node/3095

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