Safety stressed with young hunters
Safety, safety, safety. You can’t stress it enough.
This past Saturday, the Iowa Hunter Safety Education course drilled safety home in the minds of future hunters at the Emmet County Izaak Walton League grounds in Estherville.
The local Izaak Walton chapter provided the grounds and sponsored the training with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The Emmet County Pheasants Forever donated $800 in archery equipment, including bows, arrows, and targets. Also contributing to the effort were rifles from the Boy Scouts, muzzleloaders and rifles from the Emmet County Ducks Unlimited, and shotguns donated a number of years ago by Pheasants Forever. The VFW Auxiliary of Armstrong also made a donation for the course. Connie Alvarez of The Huntsman in Estherville helped with lunch and served as lead instructor for the county.
The training includes 13 hours of classtime and hands-on use of archery equipment, trapshooting, muzzleloaders, and .22-calibre rifles. The course is required of anyone born after Jan. 1, 1971. However, anyone of any age is welcome to take the course which fulfills the requirements for receiving a hunting license in all 50 states.
Youth can take the class at 11 1/2 years old. However, the certification does not take effect until they are 12. Youth can still hunt under age 12. However, they must be accompanied at all times by an adult.
Following are some of the real-life scenarios presented in the training:
n How do you cross a fence with a rifle when you’re alone? How about when you’re with someone?
n Should you take that shot at that bear on the other side of the fence?
n If you’re hunting ducks with someone else, where does your field of shooting begin? Where does it end?
Taking the course were Josh Kilpatrick, Ashley Egesdal, Austin Folsom, Dakota Moffitt, Tyler Gifford, Jill Jensen, Scott VonEhwegen and Terry Nelson.
Instructors and others assisting with the training included Loren Renze, Rick Ault, Connie Alvarez, Jeff Hanson, Cliff
Roth and Jordon Hansen.