It’s time to look for Hunt Safe courses

It's time to look for Hunt Safe courses State Game, Fish and Parks officials say parents whose children are coming of age to hunt during the upcoming seasons should be on the lookout for upcoming HUNT SAFE courses.

Bill Shattuck, hunting and boating safety programs specialist for Game, Fish and Parks, said everyone under 16 years of age who wishes to hunt in South Dakota must first complete a HUNT SAFE course to be eligible for a hunting license.

"These courses are taught by volunteer instructors and assisted by Game, Fish and Parks conservation officers," Shattuck said.

Each course involves 10 or more hours of classroom study, along with closely supervised gun handling and firing exercises. In addition, hunting ethics and responsibility, wildlife identification and conservation and many other

subjects are covered.

"Our goal is to produce young hunters who are not just safe, but also skilled and responsible. We are looking for good citizens, not just good hunters," Shattuck said.

Students must be 12 years old or reach age 12 between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31 to obtain a hunting license. Youths 11-years-old are also welcomed in the course.

About 4,500 persons complete a HUNT SAFE course each year. The courses are offered free-of-charge. For more information and possible upcoming course dates, individuals should contact their local conservation officer or Game, Fish and Parks office. A course listing is not available online.

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