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Hunter safety classes offered May 9 in Perry and Lake City

Don’t wait! Get educated early by attending one of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) free hunter safety courses. Although hunter safety courses are offered in every county throughout the year, FWC volunteer instructors are hunting like everyone else during the season, so classes are limited after October.

“It’s a good idea to take a course early, while there are many available. Classes late in the year fill up quickly, and it may be difficult to enroll closer to hunting season,” said Steve Robbins, regional hunter safety coordinator.

A large number of courses offered early in the year are generally lightly attended. Some are traditional classes, and some are online/CD courses. Interested hunters can check out the Hunter Safety area of MyFWC.com or call the Lake City Regional Office at 386-758-0525 for more information.

In April, hunter safety classes were held in Baker, Columbia, Alachua and Duval counties. A class is scheduled for May 9 in Taylor County, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Taylor Correctional Institution in Perry. Participants must complete the online course or CD course prior to attending.

Those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult in order to attend any of the hunter safety classes. Another hunter safety course is also set for May 9 (from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.) in Lake City. Participants must complete the online or CD course prior to attending the class at the Osceola Rifle Range.

All firearms, ammunition and materials are provided free of charge. Students need to bring a pen or pencil and paper. To register, students can visit the Web site or call the regional office.

“The FWC Hunter Safety Course is now available online and on compact disc,” Robbins said. “Hunters can take a majority of the classroom instruction without leaving home before taking part in a field day that includes live-firing instruction on a shooting range to earn certification.

“At the field day, students must complete a standard written examination and are expected to demonstrate many skills, such as loading and unloading different types of firearms, safely crossing fences and other activities that all safe, responsible hunters should be able to complete,” Robbins said.