March 6, 2012
MADISON - Wisconsin hunters planning for 2012 seasons should register now for required hunter education certificate courses to avoid missing the season for failure to complete a course on time.
"Nearly all of the volunteer hunter education instructors are hunters themselves and enjoy hunting in the fall," says Conservation Warden Jon King, who took over as the state's hunting education administrator in January. "The hunter education program offers about 1,200 courses every year, but very few of them are offered from October through December."
King, who also has been a hunter education instructor himself for about 11 years and a recreational safety warden in the southern counties for the last seven, says it is not uncommon for hunters to start the search for a course a few weeks before the start of the gun-deer season. "Nearly all courses have been offered by then," 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, Look under the heading of Recreational Safety Course - Upcoming Classes. Check frequently as courses are added to the listing as instructors alert the DNR.
King, who also worked as a police officer for eight years before joining the DNR, says hunting accidents have dropped by 90 percent since the hunter education program began in the state. "The many volunteer instructors who teach hunter education and the number of our hunters who have now graduated from our courses is a big reason why hunting is safe."
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jon King (608) 575-2294