The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is encouraging hunters who have completed a hunter, bowhunter, or trapper education certification course to consider taking a …
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is encouraging hunters who have completed a hunter, bowhunter, or trapper education certification course to consider taking a “Next Step” course.
The courses are given by Hunter Education Program staff and certified instructors. The courses are free, and they are given in seven different categories, rifle, shotgun, crossbow, archery use and marksmanship and land and water trapping. Each 4-hour course focuses on safety techniques and offers students hands-on experience learning practical skills from knowledgeable instructors.
The “hands-on” aspect of the courses are important, coupled with smaller group sizes, allows for more one-on-one instruction. Participants will spend time on the range or in the field, which will help build confidence and comfort with the tools and techniques of hunting and trapping while reinforcing important safety habits.
The courses are designed to learn about different types of rifles and shotguns, hands-on instruction in safe firearm handling and safe zones of fire, loading and unloading rifles and shotguns, shooting positions and stances, and target shooting on the range.
Crossbow and archery courses, learn about the parts of a crossbow or bow, how to hunt safely with a crossbow or bow, how to shoot a crossbow or bow, and target practice on the range.
Trapping and fur handling courses, learn safe, efficient, and humane trapping techniques for various furbearers trapped in the water such as beaver and muskrat, or on land such as coyote and raccoon, how to process furs and the equipment needed to do so, and how to use the furs including preparing them for market.
Registration is required. Supplies and equipment are provided by course instructors. Those interested will need their hunter or trapper education certificate number to register. The minimum age to take a Next-Step course is 12.
To know what Next-Step courses are being offered and to register visit DEC’s website at
The DEC has ordered 30,000 ringneck pheasants from central Pennsylvania to be delivered to DEC’s Reynolds Game Farm in Ithaca, NY.
15,000 “started” pheasants 6-10 weeks old and another 15,000 adult pheasants 18-23 weeks old are being shipped in a series of deliveries. The pheasants will be ready to be released for this fall’s pheasant hunting season.
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