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Hunter education class graduates 30

By Staff | Aug 25, 2009

Virginia Ashby, Kossuth County DNR conservation officer, showed Jazmine Ring of Estherville proper shotgun techniques. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

There were a lot of proud people who wanted to show off their hunter education course completion certificates and Pheasants Forever hats Saturday.

They were the 30 graduates of the hunter education class held by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and hosted by the Emmet County Izaak Walton League and The Huntsman. And then of course there were blaze orange stocking caps for all the graduates, courtesy of Pheasants Forever. The class was held at the Izaak Walton grounds on the southwest edge of Estherville.

Hunter education is a required course for anyone born after 1972 who wants to hunt in Iowa. It’s a fairly vigorous course extending over two nights and one day.

Safety is the key emphasis of the course, and instructors constantly try to “trip up” students in safe but challenging situations so they can understand the need for being safe when hunting either at the target range or in the field.

Even some of the DNR officers have some personal stories to tell about the importance of safety, something that drives the point home even further.

Jeff Hanson showed Josh Rezac of Graettinger how to draw and sight a bow. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

After the two nights in the classroom last Tuesday and Thursday, the students went through a safety trail Saturday then had the chance to shoot a bow, clays with a shotgun, black powder rifle and .22 rifle. While some may have been a little afraid of shooting the black powder rifle because of the noise it made, once they had the chance to try it, they were hooked.

After chomping down on a great meal prepared by lead instructor Rick Ault’s wife Angela, Virginia Ashby, Kossuth County DNR conservation officer, ran through Iowa hunting laws and regulations then everyone settled down to a 50-question test.

After days of reading and verbal quizzing and review, everyone pretty much flew through the test.

The next hunter ed class will be held next spring. For information, call Rick Ault at 362-2758.