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Author Topic: Hunter education- some insight.- When should I sign up my child?  (Read 1761 times)


  • To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them. - Richard Henry Lee
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I've been a hunter education instructor for a few years now.  I have the privledge of teaching somewhere between 50 and 100 youngsters per month for about 9 months out of the year.  And  while I love doing it, I've run into a couple of problems on a consistant basis.   

There are three test a student must pass:  Attitude, written, and range.

1.  Attitude Test:
A. Attention span-  This can hang kids for the attitude test.
If your child is not capable of staying focused for at least a half hour at a time, do them a favor and give them another year or so, then re-evaluate.

B.  If they are that age where they want to be a smart alleck punk?  They'll have trouble passing.  But they will be given an honest shot at it by a good instructor.

2.  Range test-
A: TAKE THEM OUT TO PRACTICE!  At least once a week for three weeks before the range test.  I cannot stress this enough!!  If they pass the written test and go to each class participating their little hearts out only to be crushed on range day in front of their classmates and parents?  Well, you figure out the consequences.  They're not good.
Get a gun that fits THEM, NOT you.  Your bull barreled target rifle is fine for you, but not for a 95 pound 12 year old trying to hold steady in an unsupported standing position.
Also, while you may wish them to hunt with an iron sighted single shot(and there are many good reasons for this), on range night, let them run the semi-automatic.  The more they can concentrate on sight picture and trigger control, instead of breaking stance every time to work the action, the better they'll shoot.

B:  No matter how they're shooting at the actual range test- 
DO NOT call out "high" "low", "left", etc., it WILL frustrate them.  After all -both dad, the instructor, and other students are watching(and you thought buck fever was bad).  If they get frustrated, they will blow the test.  You want to help them?  Fine. The only things you need to say are "You're doing well." -or- "Remember to aim at the same spot every time."  Anything much more complicated than that, and the student will end up distracted and shoot worse.

C:  Do not berate or condemn your child on the range should they fail because-
1. I(or any decent instructor) will toss YOU off the range.
2.  Your child will be crushed.
3.  Most times, it's your fault, not theirs.  WHAT? :o you say?  Yep.  You heard me right.  They are either physically too small for the firearm you provided for them, or you did not get enough practicing/coach time in.  VERY rarely is it the students fault that range night doesn't go well.  They should know the gun cold by range night, not be asking me where the safety is or taking the price tag off the trigger gaurd.  If it's not properly sighted in?  Yeah, that one's on you too.

3.  Written test:

A.  Easy-  Show up for class every night and participate, do the chapter reviews.  Done.  This test will be a snap.

Sorry if the above seems a bit rough.  But it's from the heart.  And every word of it's true.  When you can aviod or have addressed the above mentioned pitfalls, bring your kids on in!!  I, or any other hunter-education instructor will be more than happy to take a well prepared student.


« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 09:38:08 am by THE NORSEMAN »
This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

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    Re: Hunter education- some insight.- When should I sign up my child?
    « Reply #1 on: February 25, 2009, 12:01:01 am »
    Do you teach many adults or is it just usually kids who are in the classes? I ask because I have never hunted in my life and I have become interested as of late. The main reason being is that my dad, who never hunted while we were growing up, has now decided that he wants to get back into it and I want to be able to go with him so I will be taking the next hunter's education course here in Tooele, and I was wondering if I was going to feel like a schmuck and be the only adult there.

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