Hunting and trapping licenses went on sale Aug. 1, and with the start of the new sporting license year that begins on September 1 comes the beginning of small game hunting with the opening of squirrel season.
Several other seasons for big and small game alike also open in September and by October hunting is in full swing.
So it is crucial now for new hunters out there to get their hunter education courses under their belts.
Those of us in the hunting community are always complaining about the fact that hunter numbers are dwindling. Yet, each year finding a seat in a hunter education class becomes a waiting game for many aspiring hunters.
FILL UP QUICKLY
Once announced to the public, these courses fill up quickly and often there are last minute sessions organized by sporting clubs to accommodate more.
The completion of a hunter education course is required for those planning to hunt with any type firearm (rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader), crossbow and archery as well.
There is also a trapper education course, which is required to obtain a trapping license.
There is an additional bowhunter education requirement for archery, which at this time does not include crossbow.
The hunter education courses are a minimum of seven hours in length and the student must be age 11 or older.
The biggest change in recent years is the home study requirement prior to the instructor portion of the course.
Students can either download the course study material from the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website at dec.ny.gov/outdoor/92267.html or obtain a copy at a regional DEC office, such as that in Ray Brook.
There is no cost for this course or materials.
DON’T GIVE UP
A second option is to take an online course provided by a separate entity which does charge a $15 fee upon completion of the course.
A company called Kalkomey Enterprises, LLC…