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Editor Seeks Hunter Education as Season Kicks Off

Bowhunting season started on Monday; one Patch editor shares his thoughts from a recent DEC Sportman's Education Class.

Hunting season on Long Island officially kicked off Monday, as deer bowhunting opened for the next three months, with several small game seasons opening up in coming weeks.

While I won't be out bowhunting, I did recently sit in on a Sportsman's Education Class, which is offered by the Department of Environmental Conservation and is required to obtain a hunting license in New York State.

I didn't grow up surrounded by any hunters, so a decent portion of the class was informative and interesting.

So what might one learn at a DEC Sportsman's Education Course? Here are a few things I found:

  • Bowhunting and firearm hunting require two separate courses in order to get a license for each. Either that or one dual course that the DEC started offering this year. So no bowhunting for me this year, though I could have figured that out before stepping in the classroom if I had bothered to check.
  • The Pittman-Robinson Act, an excise tax on firearms, bullets, bows and hunting-related equipment, provides a vital source of revenue for purchasing and maintaining wildlife management areas. 
  • High school-style instructional videos are alive and well at Sportsman's Education Classes. You might step back in time during the (tragic) "The Last Shot," as well as a video on how to properly field dress a deer, hosted by a man who probably has the best hunter name in the Idaho Fish and Game Department: Clint Rand. 
  • If you don't know much about firearms (like me), learning the nuts and bolts of what makes a gun fire is interesting and necessary stuff to know. This was my biggest take-away from the course.
  • Meat begins to spoil at 40 degrees, and heat is typically the number one reason for spoilage.
  • A rifle bullet (7MM) can travel three miles.
  • When a student comes to a course with his father, and his father tells the instructor, "I've killed more people than you have deer," that's a good time for someone to call the police. (The issue ended up being resolved peacefully.)

There were other things the course taught me though I won't go into detail, and of course the biggest concept you will learn, though you should probably know this already: firearms have the ability to take the life of humans and animals in an instant, and constant care and respect must be given when handling a weapon.

As do bows, I'm sure — though I guess I'll have to wait to learn more about them.

hunter-ed October 02, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Great piece Joseph, thanks for sharing! Students can complete their online bowhunter education course at http://www.bowhunter-ed.com/newyork/. The course is filled with great animations, plus all the information is state approved.

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