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Hunter Education Instruction as a Church Outreach
Several states across the nation are now expanding the availability of Hunter Education courses through church outdoors ministries which began recruitment of volunteers in earnest beginning in the late 1990's both in Georgia and North Carolina. CSF Director at Land of the Sky Chapter, Ray Crisp, was recently recognized as the Hunter Education Instructor of the year for 2012. The North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission even presented Ray with a Henry Golden Boy Rifle in appreciation for his dedication to the instruction of young aspiring hunters who are coming into the ranks of millions of outdoorsmen who are ethical sportsmen in caring for wildlife through conservation management measures.
Church Outdoors Ministries are now hosting one day training courses that cover firearm safety, bow hunting, wildlife management, field care of game, responsible hunting, landowner relations, wildlife identification, and much more. Many even offer complimentary grilled hamburger lunches during the non-state mandated portion of the day where "bullet" testimonies are presented by Christian sportsmen who desire to share their story about the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In a recent course in the State of Georgia seventeen of the twenty-eight attendees indicated their commitment to follow Jesus Christ recorded on their door prize Registration Card. Most churches serve as convenient venues with well suited facilities furnished with classrooms and kitchens. A team of dedicated volunteer Christian sportsmen can serve those in attendance through instruction, lunchtime meal and even assist in administering the concluding examination.
All fifty states are part of the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) - USA which is the professional hunter education association affiliated with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies hunter education programs. The programs employ 55,000 instructors nationwide, many of whom are volunteers, that teach hunting and shooting safety and responsibilities throughout the United States.
Hunter Education courses train and certify more than 650,000 students annually. Since 1949, almost 40 million students have completed hunter education courses Hunting is a safe activity, and, because of hunter education, it is even safer! Over the last 50 years hunting related injury rates have decreased dramatically, even as populations of deer, wild turkey, elk, geese, and other species of game have risen to record numbers.
During the 20th century, hunters raised billions of dollars for wildlife conservation in North America and championed the cause of wildlife restoration programs. Now, in the 21st century, hunters continue to be the most effective political voice supporting legislation to protect wild things and wild places for future generations.
All fifty states across the nation now require Hunter Safety Certification and church leaders are taking the lead in serving a growing population of newcomer sportsmen.
The Hunter Education Program as a division of the Department of Natural Resources provides free hunter education courses throughout the year in every county of the nation. More than a firearm safety course, instruction includes ethics and responsibility, conservation and wildlife management, wildlife identification, survival and first aid, specialty hunting and tree stand safety.
There are no minimum age requirements, however, classes are taught at the most basic level and tests must be completed without assistance. Courses are a minimum of 10 hours, taught by wildlife officers, hunter education specialists and certified volunteer instructors, and certification is accepted in every state and province in North America.
Due to hunter education, hunting accidents have decreased by over 50% during the last twenty years making hunting one of the safest recreational activities.
Hunter Education Instructors are volunteers within their community who teach hunter education courses and share their knowledge and appreciation of the sport of hunting, while promoting conservation and safe, responsible outdoor recreation.
These volunteers must be 21 years old, pass a background check and satisfy training requirements to instruct a standardized state curriculum. They follow a code of conduct and accept the responsibility to be dependable, prompt and efficient.
Contact CSF Headquarters today to learn more about becoming a Hunter Education Instructor in your own state or organizing your outdoors ministry for hosting these essential state-mandated hunter education certification courses.