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Hunter safety course set on Island

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Animal Control Officer Beau Payne on the hunt.

Animal Control Officer Beau Payne on the hunt.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has scheduled a Hunter Education Course at the Shelter Island American Legion Post on Saturday and Sunday, September 8 and 9.

The program is required for all hunting licenses, including bow hunting. It is an opportunity to learn safety techniques and responsibilities, whether using a gun, muzzle loader, crossbow or bow to pursue wild game.

No one can obtain a first-time hunting license without successful completion of the course, which includes completion of homework prior to the course, attendance at both sessions, a proper attitude about safety and a 50-question final exam.

This is likely to be the final opportunity to take the course prior to the hunting season that begins October 1. These courses are generally not offered between November 1 and February 28.

The course is open to adults and children who will be 11 by September 8 this year, but those under the age 16 must bring a permission slip, available online, signed by a parent or guardian. In New York State, the age is 12 to obtain a hunting license.

The course covers:

• Firearm and crossbow handling and safety techniques

• History of firearms

• Knowledge of firearms and ammunition

• Proper gun handling and storage

• Laws and regulations

• Principles of wildlife management and wildlife identification

• Outdoor safety

• Hunter ethics

• Hunter responsibility toward wildlife, the environment, landowners and the general public

The Saturday class runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon, but participants must arrive by 7:30 a.m. No one will be allowed to attend if they arrive late and they’re advised to bring snacks/lunch and water.

Homework assignments must be completed in advance of the course and information on the homework can be obtained at dec.ny.gov/outdoor.

You can complete the homework worksheet online, but the course requires in-person sessions. Those who prefer can pickup the homework information at most DEC Wildlife offices  and there is no fee.

To register for the course, visit //register-ed.com/events/view/129032.

Space is limited and usually fills quickly.

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