Monday, April 9, 2012
Hunter Safety Weekend
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