Monday, April 9, 2012

Hunter Safety Weekend

As the early spring has spurred some early open water action, my participation to date still counts at zero.  A variety of professional and personal obligations pushed any outdoor based opportunities aside and left me withdrawn like quitter hankering a smoke.  Even though benched for the first week of April, my trip this upcoming weekend to central Maine for northern pike and largemouth bass offers the potential of a walk-off home run ending this two week losing streak of fishing non-participation.  Now back to the title of this post.

I've opted to become a bow hunter, everything about it makes sense.  More hunting hours and warmer temperatures in October, less hunting pressure, and something new to get excited about.  The primary step was to take the bow hunting safety course offered by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (DIFW).  It is important to mention that anyone who wishes to purchase a basic hunting, archery, crossbow, or trapping license, they must complete the respective education course.  For this spring, I opted to travel 40 miles west for a two-day affair immersing myself into a variety of bow hunting topics including but not limited to:  equipment, proper hunting methods, responsibilities, and general safety.

After 10 hours of laws, safety, bow hunting equipment, first aid, survival skills, map & compass, ethics, and landowner relations, I took the 50 question test and am certified to bow hunt in the state of Maine.  Most of the course was technically a refresher from my guides training, but it was great to draw back from prior knowledge and offer some input into the program.  Needless to say, I'm excited about the prospects of getting a new bow and practicing this summer. 

During this course I was chatting with Harland Hitchings, the DIFW regional safety coordinator and grandfather of Steve Vose the Rabid Outdoorsman.  I inquired about becoming a volunteer firearm safety instructor and it didn't take long for Harland to oblige.  Since I have completed two basic safety course as a student, I was able to complete an application take a written examination on the spot.  I now need to attend an instructor training course and then I can participate in training aspiring hunters in firearm safety. 

We'll see how this goes, but I'm a teacher of 14 years including 2 at the junior high level and a serious passionate ambassador for everything outdoors in our great state.  I look forward to helping our future hunters promote themselves in an ethical, positive, and safe manner down the road.

Have a great day,

The Downeast Duck Hunter


  1. Tell me the when and where of the instructor training course and you will likely have a tag along. Can't wait for this weekends fishing adventure!


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