Hunter education required for kids

Posted: Friday, August 09, 2002

Beginning Aug. 1, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game required a hunter education course for all hunters born after Jan. 1, 1986. Any hunter under 16 who has not completed a Fish and Game-certified hunter education course must be accompanied by a hunter 16 or older who has completed an approved course.

The new regulations have been in the works for years, said Fish and Game

biologist Gino Del Frate. Implementation has been held up as officials

struggled to find a way to bring the courses and instructors to the

Bush. In 1999, the department decided to implement the regulations

solely for hunting units along the road system.

"Weve been trying to get the word out, and its been in the (hunting

regulations) book saying, its coming, its coming, its coming." Del

Frate said. "And now its here."

Fish and Game pushed back the implementation date from the original

target of 2000 to allow the public more opportunity to enroll in the

hunter education courses.

Last spring, Fish and Game offered several courses on the lower

peninsula, all of which were full.

The department will offer three more courses later this month, with

two-day courses in Homer starting July 26 and 27 and a one-day class in

Anchor Point on July 29. The classes are restricted to 24 students each.

Contact Fish and Game at 235-8191 for details on those classes.

Del Frate said the courses are following a new format that allows

students to complete a workbook at home prior to coming to class. The

classes consist of a review session followed by some gun handling and

demonstrations, a firing session at a gun range, and a written test.

On the Kenai Peninsula, hunting season goes into full swing on Aug. 10

with the opening of seasons for mountain goat, Dall sheep, caribou,

upland birds and moose taken by bow and arrow.

Sepp Jannotta is a reporter for the Homer News.

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