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July 13, 2010

MADISON - Wisconsin hunters planning for the late-year seasons should register now for required hunter education certificate courses to avoid being sidelined this fall.

"Nearly all of the volunteer hunter education instructors are hunters themselves and enjoy hunting in the fall," says Conservation Warden Tim Lawhern, who also serves as the state's hunting education administrator. "The hunter education program offers about 1,200 courses every year, but very few of them are offered from October through December."

Every year Lawhern fields calls two weeks before the gun-deer season with hunter-hopefuls looking to fulfill the mandatory hunter education course. "More than 99 percent of our courses have already been offered by that time," he says.

Anyone born on or after Jan.1, 1973, must have completed a hunter education course and show the certificate to purchase any hunting license in Wisconsin. Also, recreational safety students are required to obtain a Wisconsin DNR Customer ID Number before the completion of any recreational safety class and must provide that Customer ID Number to the instructor.

To find a course, visit the Department of Natural Resources Web site. Look under the heading of Recreational Safety Course - Upcoming Classes. If unsuccessful, check back as courses are added to the listing as instructors alert the DNR.

"In Wisconsin, we've reduced hunting accidents by 90 percent since the hunter education program began," Lawhern says. "Hunting is safe -- and getting safer -- because of the volunteer instructors who teach hunter education and the number of our hunters who have now graduated from our courses. Sign up now while courses are being offered in your area.

"Remember, safe hunting is no accident," he says.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Lawhern (608) 266-1317

Last Revised: Tuesday, July 13, 2010

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