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Online hunter education courses!

Jack Danchak - Columnist
Posted 8/6/20

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that online hunter education courses will continue to be available throughout the summer and that an online bowhunting …

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Online hunter education courses!

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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that online hunter education courses will continue to be available throughout the summer and that an online bowhunting course option has been added.

The hunter education course went online earlier this year to give new hunters an opportunity to take the course when in-person courses had been canceled due to COVID-19 shutdowns.

Since mid-April, more than 24,000 hunters have successfully completed the online course, about 20 percent more than typically take it and about 40 percent were women, compared to 27 percent that traditional take the in-person course.

The new bowhunting education course has been added just as the DEC is also installing a new sales system for fishing, hunting and trapping licenses that will also have several online features.

The 2019 hunting season in New York had the lowest hunting-related shooting incidents and was the safest hunting season on record since the hunter education program was first introduced in 1949.

Paul Monpetit, a hunter education instructor, had this to say, “New York State has managed to make hunting one of the safest sports out there. Our incident numbers are extremely low thanks to the system currently in place. My fear is that the number of incidents will increase, and even one incident is one too many. While most will take the course with good intentions, there is no way to be certain that little Billy or Sally actually did the work and that a well-intentioned guardian didn't do it for them.”

DEC's Hunter Education Program partnered with Texas-based Kalkomey Enterprises, a company that specializes in hunter education, to offer the online courses. The online course material covers all the topics of traditional in-person courses, including firearms and bow safety, treestand safety, hunting ethics, wildlife conservation and state hunting rules and regulations. The hunter education course costs $19.95 and the bowhunter education course cost $30. Both courses can be accessed at the DEC's website. There was previously no cost to attend the in-person classes.

DEC has also partnered with Kalkomey on the new license sales system, which it plans to integrate with online education.

Jack Danchak is the President of the Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs of Sullivan County.

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