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With Colorado’s big-game seasons just around the corner, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding sportsmen anticipating the purchase of their first big-game license that there are still slots available for several upcoming hunter education classes held in the Grand Junction Hunter Safety Complex.
By Colorado statute, anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1949, must successfully complete an approved hunter education course before they apply for a Colorado hunting license or preference point.
“Hunter education is especially important for anyone anticipating their first hunt but this class offers many benefits even for people who don’t hunt,” said Regional Manager Ron Velarde. “The knowledge gained from these classes is very useful for hikers, bikers, campers, anglers or anyone who enjoys the outdoors.”
The basic purpose of a hunter education course is to teach safe, responsible firearm handling in the field, in the vehicle and in the home after hunting. Through lectures, hands-on activities and videos, students learn about firearms and ammunition, firearm safety, shooting fundamentals and the legal responsibilities of hunting and shooting. Students also receive an introduction to primitive hunting methods including archery and black powder firearms.
While hunter education courses encourage safe hunting, they also help novice hunters be more successful in their hunts. With an emphasis on ethical hunting behavior, subjects include hunter responsibility, wildlife identification and management, game care, outdoor survival as well as other important outdoor and hunting related topics.
At the conclusion of the course, hunter education cards are awarded to students who have attended all classes and passed the final exam, including the required .22 rifle live-fire exam.
“The class is fun and educational and students range from young boys and girls, men and women of all ages and even older folks just getting into the sport,” said class instructor and assistant regional manager Dean Riggs. “Although designed for people just getting into hunting, we have had many long-time hunters take the class as a refresher, which is a very good idea if it has been a while since you took the course.”
Scheduled monthly, students have a choice of weekend classes, evening classes from Monday through Friday or internet self-study courses.
For more information about classes in the Grand Junction area, call 970-255-6130 or please visit http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/HunterEducation/Pages/HuntEd.aspx