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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