I hope everyone has been enjoying the snow and that everyone has been careful out there!
Today I’m going to be sharing about how to prepare (and what to expect) when you start preparing and eventually take your Hunters Education course.
I grew up and still live in the beautiful state of North Carolina, so my experience was solely in this state, however, most of the tips will help you no matter what state you are taking your Hunter Education Course in!
Before going any further, let me give you this advice – chill.
This is not a hard course to learn or pass, so try not to get all uptight and freaked out especially when you go to your Hunter Education Field Day.
In retrospect, this is actually a really awesome course. It is completely self-paced and this is very helpful, especially because it is a serious course and should not be taken lightly, but I encourage you to still have fun learning the material!
First, you will need to sign up for the course online via your state.
If you’re interested in taking the NC Hunter Education Course click on the link here to get started and sign up! This course is easily saved and streams beautifully on all devices.
The Hunter Education course is divided into 9 units –
- Unit 1 – Introduction To Hunter Education
- Unit 2 – Know Your Firearm Equipment
- Unit 3 – Basic Shooting Skills
- Unit 4 – Basic Hunting Skills
- Unit 5 – Primitive Hunting Equipment and Techniques
- Unit 6 – Be A Safe Hunter
- Unit 7 – Be A Responsible and Ethical Hunter
- Unit 8 – Preparation and Survival Skills
- Unit 9 – Understanding Wildlife
After you complete each unit there is a mini-quiz, the questions are not timed and if you feel the need to take a unit again there is no limit to taking a unit again.
The course can be taken in one day or several – you go at your own pace.
A word of caution, though, is that you need to actually be studying the information and not just flying through the material!
This method may have worked for you in school but this is totally different – you will use the information on most hunts and you may actually be placed in a life or death situation and need to use what you (hopefully) learned.
I spanned my coursework between six days and looked back at all my notes before taking the final test after Unit 9. This test is important – you cannot go forward to the Hunter Education Field Day without passing this test.
After you pass this test, you will be required to print out the certificate that you passed the Hunter Education Course and you will then need to find a Hunter Education Field Day!
This is what I was most nervous about – you really don’t know what to expect, how to dress or what will all be tested. The unknown is the only thing that makes it nerve wracking, though!
When I arrived at my Hunter Education Field Day, it was an awesome experience from the start. Being around other people as dedicated to conservation and ethical hunting was exciting, and knowing this gave me confidence.
After walking into the room I had to show my printed certificate and my ID and then took a seat with about fifteen other people.
We were seated at a table with a two-page long multiple choice test sheet in front of us, a 2016-2017 NC Regulations Digest (for us to take home) and a pencil. There were three Hunter Education Teachers in front of us, plus a North Carolina Game Warden to answer any questions we might have had and to oversee the process.
The educators and Game Warden were so friendly! There were many questions asked to which they responded in a kind and genuine manner – not cocky at all and very professional yet friendly.
After everyone is seated be prepared to go through about ten minutes of hunting laws and regulations within your state, it’s a lot of information but also very important and I’m glad that they decide to go over it with you in person.
The fifteen people there for the Hunter Education Field Day, me included, were split into two groups – half stayed at the table and the other half were taken into a separate room.
I was in the group that stayed at the table, and the teachers proceeded with the final in-person test.
It was a little nerve-wracking, but if you really studied the material then there won’t be an issue, and you can ask for clarification if you need to without any deductions.
Each question was asked by one of the Hunter Ed teachers and they went fairly slow, so they didn’t rapid-fire questions to us which was nice!
After we all finished the test (those of us in the group left at the table) we were told to go into the next room and the other group walked in the testing area where we had been.
Upon going into this room I realized this would be the hands-on testing and training if someone needed it.
There was one shotgun and one rifle placed on the table, plus the shells and/or cartridges needed to load the firearms. (The shells/cartridges were not filled and thus not lethal.) This hands-on part is where I saw a lot of the people who had never really handled a firearm before not do so well so I would caution you to practice for this.
It’s just a few simple tasks, but they can be confusing if you’re completely “green” to the firearms world.
All they asked us to do was:
- pick up the rifle and shotgun
- proceed with loading the firearms with the blanks
- pretend you’re sighting in the firearm
- unload the rifle or shotgun correctly
- put the firearm down in a safe manner
While you’re showing your skills in all of this, make sure that you are never pointing the firearm towards anyone in the room!
It doesn’t matter if it’s completely unloaded or filled with blanks – treat every firearm as if it were a loaded firearm.
While my group was in the hands-on training room, our tests were being graded. After everyone had handled the rifle or shotgun the Game Warden came into our room with a stack of papers, and I knew they were our tests!
This is where you’ll probably get the most butterflies in your stomach and start to question your answers the most – but don’t! If you happen to not pass either the test or the hands-on part of the day you can sign up for another one if you choose to.
I was happy to see the PASS stamped on mine, along with the signatures of the teachers and Game Warden, and this left one final thing for those that passed to do – get the official license!
You can purchase your hunting/fishing licenses at most stores like Walmart, Gander Mountain, Bass Pro or Cabelas. Whichever is closest to you is where I would get yours at, it doesn’t matter if you get it from Walmart or somewhere like Cabelas – it’s the same exact thing.
So as you can see, with some work and dedication to your studies, you can pass your Hunter Education and Hunter Education Field Day with flying colors!
Another cool thing about the whole process is that you can take the online prep (the nine units for studying) at any time! You’ll just have to find and locate a Hunter Education Field Day to finish everything up.
Are you excited to go on this adventure if you haven’t yet?!
If you apply yourself it’s such a fun and amazing thing to go learn and pass, and will give you the knowledge you need to get started hunting in a respectable, ethical and positive way.
I hope this has helped some of you better prepare for this exciting adventure and that you’ll also take this seriously because while hunting can be a fun pastime or hobby, the best part is knowing where your meat came from and that it was harvested with respect.
The best hunter/huntress is one that:
- respects the animal harvested
- is a good sportsman/sportswoman
- is knowledgeable
- helps educate other hunters and non-hunters
- is ethical in every harvest and hunt
- portrays the harvesting of an animal in a positive way
- handles each firearm with respect (and handles it as if it is loaded, even when it is not.)
- understands conservation and why it is important to do their part
Hunting for your food offers many advantages for your household, and I hope to cover this in a later blog post.
I wish you all the best in preparing and taking your Hunters Education Course, and hope that I was able to offer some pointers and tips that you will be able to use!
XOXO – Autumn