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Hunter ed program seeking volunteer instructors

From the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department

-- Avid outdoorsmen and women who are comfortable working in a team environment are needed to become volunteer instructors for New Hampshire's Hunter Education Program.

Those willing to invest 10 to 20 hours of time each year to bring the love of the outdoors to a new generation, should consider taking the required training to teach. Once trained, new volunteers will be ready to join the 500+ volunteer instructors who teach Hunter and Bowhunter Education in New Hampshire, a program that has been in place in the state since 1948.

Hunter Education emphasizes safe gun handling, hunter responsibilities and ethics, and knowledge of firearms and ammunition. Students participate in a live fire exercise; learn about wildlife identification, conservation and the role of the hunter in wildlife management.

Fish and Game Conservation Officers provide expert advice on state hunting rules and regulations. The course culminates in a written examination and practical field exam in which students demonstrate their new knowledge and skills to earn their certification.

Bowhunter Education also covers the core concepts of ethics, wildlife conservation, identification and management, rules and regulations, but emphasizes bowhunting safety, archery equipment, treestand safety and proper shot placement. Students must also pass a written test to earn certification.

To become a certified instructor with the N.H. Fish and Game Department volunteers must be 18 years of age or older, be free of misdemeanor convictions and Fish and Game violations within 7 years, and any felony conviction, and have successfully completed a Hunter or Bowhunter Education course as a student.

Hunter or bowhunter instructor applications can be downloaded from the Fish and Game website at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/hunter_ed.htm or can be obtained at the Hunter Education office, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord.  

All potential instructors undergo a background check and review of their application information. Once this is complete, candidates will receive information on how to register for a new instructor training class.

"Volunteer instructors have always been the bedrock of the Hunter Education program," says Josh Mackay, hunter education coordinator. "The time and effort they've invested over the years have made it possible for hundreds of thousands of people to safely enjoy the challenges and rewards of the sport, as well as help perpetuate our great hunting traditions." 

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