Hunting season is well on its way and many Texomans are preparing to venture out and capture some game. However, without the proper knowledge and education hunters won't be able to go out and hunt legally.
By law, a Hunter Education Certificate is required for people over 17. The Northwest Texas Field and Stream Association held a special Hunter Education Class Saturday morning for those trying to attain the certificate.
"I think this really gives hunters insights into the outdoor manual that we use. That's the bible and the rules of hunting and fishing so it shows them where to look to find out what time of day, whatever type of game to shoot" said Northwest Texas Field and Stream Hunter Education Instructor Frank Jones.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, hunting accident numbers have gone down significantly in recent years ever since these classes have become mandatory by state law. Hunter education instructors say they can't stress enough the importance of safety.
"Safety is the number one thing. We stress safety above all else. We teach general good hunting rules and not only the laws but we teach ethical laws also" said RD Cox, Northwest Texas Field and Stream Hunter Education Instructor.
Not only do participants learn about safety, they are given tips from instructors who are hunting experts.
"Making a plan, hunting a plan, giving that plan to someone that you can depend on in case something happens to you is important" said Jones.
In order to attain a Texas Hunter Education Certificate, participants first need to take an online class or one of the approved online hunter education courses. Next, a 50 multiple choice question test is given which participants need to score an 80% or higher. For the last step, hunters must attend a Home Study Field Day like the class held at the Northwest Texas Field and Stream Association. Participants are required to complete 10 hours of class time is required in order to attain the certificate.
The Home Study Field Day covers ethics, responsible hunting, safety, regulations, hunter skills trail and live firing exercise. Upon completion of the class, participants will receive a temporary Texas Hunter Education student card. Once the $15 certificate fee and test is processed, a permanent Texas Hunter Education Certification Card will arrive in the mail.
These classes are only offered up to four times a year at certified locations. For more information on the Northwest Texas Field and Stream Association, you can visit their website at www.nwfts.org or contact them at (940) 692-1141.