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Hunter safety instructors needed for next generation

From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

-- Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources is looking for people who would like to pass on to others their passion for hunting as volunteer instructor/mentors for the DNR's Firearms Safety Hunter Education Program.

The goal is to have 10 instructors/mentors in every community across the state.

"You can make an amazing difference in the lives of young people by volunteering to serve," said Capt. Mike Hammer, Enforcement Education Program coordinator. "Don't be concerned if you don't have any experience teaching young people. We'll teach you everything you need to know to be a good instructor/mentor."

Instructors/mentors work with a group of three or four students ages 11 and older during a 5-6 hour Range and Field Day. The field day allows the youth to complete their certification process after taking the HunterExam online course.

"Volunteers facilitate, mentor and evaluate students as they complete the scenario-based 'Hunters Trail' course," Hammer said.

Activities on the Hunters Trail include outdoor survival, shoot/don't shoot, tree stand safety, firearms transportation, common action types, blaze orange, big game, small game and turkey hunting. Instructors must either join an existing training team or find a suitable site that includes a range, a classroom and ample outdoor space to create a Hunters Trail. They can collect a fee from students to defray any costs.

Instructor/mentor requirements include an understanding of the basic principles of mentorship, of facilitating scenarios, of various types of hunting activities and of the principles of safe, responsible and ethical hunting.

Applicants must be 18 years or older and pass a background check. They must also complete the instructor prerequisites listed on the DNR website along with additional All Day Range and Field Day training by a DNR trainer and receive instructor certification. Range and Field Days are usually held on Saturdays and vary depending on the time of year.

For more information, contact the DNR Enforcement Education Program Staff at Camp Ripley, 15011 Highway 115, Little Falls, MN 56345, call (800)366-8917  or e-mail enforcement.education@state.mn.us.

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