Below is a news release from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
Recently, sixth grade students attending Burlington Middle School in Burlington, Wyoming, earned hunter education certificates as part of their regularly scheduled physical education class.
Over several months this fall, students successfully completed 16 hours of coursework relating to ethics and responsibility, wildlife identification, Wyoming laws and regulations, wildlife conservation and management, firearms safety and more. In November, the class culminated in a field trip to Gunwerks to shoot .22 long rifles and practice marksmanship.
“The field trip gave students an opportunity to practice safe firearms handling practices they learned as part of class and was a fun way to finish the course,” said Information and Education Specialist Tara Hodges. Hodges conducted the class in conjunction with PE teacher Lanning May and Big Horn County Sheriff Deputy Nate Kreider, the school’s resource officer. After the field trip, the students were treated to a pizza party to celebrate the successful completion of the class.
In the last two years, 18 different schools across Wyoming have offered hunter education classes as part of the regular school day. In the Big Horn Basin, Cody Middle School, Powell Middle School and Riverside Middle School in Basin also offer an opportunity for hunter education during school hours.
The first hunter education courses, originally called hunter safety, were designed over 60 years ago with the main purpose of reducing hunting accidents. While the major purpose of hunter education is still the prevention of hunting and firearm related accidents, more and more emphasis is being placed on improving knowledge about the heritage of hunting. The importance of the young hunter developing a sense of ethics and responsibility is stressed. Both the first time and veteran hunters are encouraged to become involved in all matters related to hunting, wildlife and the environment. Responsible, ethical behavior by hunters and personal involvement in the local community will be essential to the future of wildlife and the continuation of hunting for future generations.
The Wyoming Hunter Education program certifies approximately 5,000 students per year and classes are predominantly conducted by volunteer instructors.
Game Warden Rob Hipp works with a sixth grade student at an outdoor range during a field trip for hunter education students attending Burlington Middle School.
Lead photo caption: During a recent field trip for a hunter education class at Burlington Middle School, students received one-on-one safe firearms instruction with officers from the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office, teachers from the Burlington School and Game Warden Rob Hipp.
(Photo source: Wyoming Game and Fish Department)