Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Hunter Instructor Training Courses Available in North Platte Feb. 26
February 7, 2013
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will train apprentice firearm hunter education instructors Feb. 26 in North Platte. The workshop will be from 6-9 p.m. at Game and Parks’ southwest district office, 301 E. State Farm Road.
Read and join the discussion on Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Hunter Instructor Training Courses Available in North Platte Feb. 26 at OutdoorHub.com.
January 31, 2013
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave preliminary approval to regulatory changes that will enable the agency to implement improvements to the hunter education replacement training certificate process by providing for online fulfillment capabilities.
“These proposed changes will provide for future hunter education program flexibility, which will result in a significant improvement to customer service,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “Once implemented, hunters will have the ability to reprint a certificate of hunter education from a third-party vendor for a fee.”
Roe noted that, as envisioned, the agency would contract with a third-party company to implement a fully-automatic online system so that a hunter who took the course since 1987 could download a replacement card for a fee paid to the vendor, 24-hours a day, seven-days-a-week.
For those who were certified prior to 1987, there still would be a certification process, but this could be done online, 24-hours a day, seven-days-a-week, too.
“We believe that this will result in a significant improvement to customer service, and certainly help hunters who find themselves in need of securing a certification card quickly,” Roe said.
Game Commission Hunter-Trapper Education course records dating back to 1987 are maintained on a computer database. Presently, if a hunter loses their certification card, they need to contact the agency’s Hunter-Trapper Education Division for assistance in obtaining a replacement certificate. If you a hunter took the course before 1987, the individual must complete a Hunter Education Program Replacement Certificate Affidavit form, sign it and have it notarized before it is returned to the Hunter-Trapper Education Division. Replacement certificates are usually mailed in 10 to 14 days upon receipt of an application, and there is a $10 fee for issuing a replacement certificate.
Read and join the discussion on Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners Takes Action to Streamline Re-Issuing of Hunter Ed Cards at OutdoorHub.com.
January 29, 2013
Fish, Wildlife and Parks in north central Montana has scheduled three field days for adults who have completed Montana’s online hunter education course.
The field days at FWP, 4600 Giant Springs Road, Great Falls will be:
- 7 p.m., Feb. 26,
- 9 a.m., March 23
- 7 p.m., April 23
The online course is available only to those 18 and older. After completing the Internet course, students must take a short field day to receive their certification card.
State law says everyone born after Jan. 1, 1985, must take hunter education before he, or she, can hunt in Montana.
Registration is only available on the Internet to those who successfully complete the online course, and space is limited. For more information on the online course and field course times and locations, go to the education link at the FWP website, www.fwp.mt.gov.
Read and join the discussion on Montana Online Hunter Education Field Days Available to Adults at OutdoorHub.com.
January 28, 2013
All hunter education classes are free, and a student must be at least 11 years old to be certified. Any person born after January 1, 1985 must present a Hunter Education Certificate in order to purchase a hunting license in Montana.
The summary of the class offerings are listed below. A parent or legal guardian must attend the orientation session for all classes.
- Florence (Florence High School, 5602 Old US Highway 93): Orientation: Monday, Feb. 18 from 6-7p.m. Classes: Monday, March 4-Friday, March 9 from 6-8:30p.m.
- Stevensville (Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, 4567 Wildfowl Lane): Orientation: Wednesday, Feb. 13 from 6:30-8pm. Classes: Students can elect to take classes on Mon & Wed evenings from Feb. 20-March 6 or Tues & Thurs evenings from Feb. 19-March 7 from 6:30-9pm. A field course is planned for Saturday, March 9 from 9:30am-4pm.
- Hamilton (Assembly of God Church, 601 West Main Street): Orientation: Monday, Feb. 11 from 7-8pm. Classes: Feb. 25, 26 & 28 and March 4, 5, 7, & 11 from 7-9pm each evening. A field course is planned for Saturday, March 9 from 9am to 1pm.
- Darby (Darby School Cafeteria, 209 School Drive): Orientation: Monday, Feb. 18 from 6-7pm. Classes: Monday, Feb. 25-Friday, March 1 from 6:30-9pm each evening.
Read and join the discussion on Montana Hunter Education Classes Planned for Florence, Stevensville, Hamilton & Darby at OutdoorHub.com.
January 24, 2013
L.L.Bean has chosen to help celebrate its 100th anniversary by aiding the NWTF in establishing a “Learn to Hunt” pilot program in Pennsylvania.
The iconic American outdoor outfitter is donating one of only two prototypes of its 100th-anniversary Merkel Model 147SL 20 gauge shotguns to the NWTF for a March 11 auction by James D. Julia Auction House in Fairfield, Maine. Live bids will be taken in person, over the phone and online. Contact James D. Julia Auction House for information on online, phone and other bidding options at (207) 453-7125.
The proceeds from the rare collector’s piece will go to the NWTF’s JAKES (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) program in Pennsylvania.
The engraving theme for L.L.Bean’s limited edition, anniversary shotguns is a celebration of the company’s 100th anniversary. The bottom of the shotgun receiver features a custom gold inlayed engraving of L.L.Bean’s first and still widely popular product, the Maine Hunting Shoe.
L.L.Bean produced only 5, 4-gun anniversary sets for retail, priced at $75,000 each, as well as 20 individual 20 gauge shotguns which retail for $15,000.
“For decades, L.L.Bean has always been about making it as easy as possible for people, especially our youth, to engage in outdoor activities like hunting,” said Mac McKeever, L.L.Bean senior public relations representative. “Our company began over 100 years ago from a love of hunting and we’re eager to continue to share our passion for hunting with future generations.
“That’s why we chose the NWTF’s JAKES program to receive the proceeds from the auction. Their interest in promoting hunting to our youth mirrors L.L.Bean’s desire to ensure that people’s lives continue to be enriched by time spent in the outdoors.”
James D. Julia Auction House is waiving all of its commission and fees.
“Like L.L.Bean, we are enthusiastic about supporting hunting and shooting events that encourage good shooting and hunting experiences for the youth of our nation,” said James D. Julia. “We are proud to support the JAKES program and will do our very best to make as much money as possible from this unique gun.”
Local NWTF chapters hope to partner with state agencies to create and develop the program, which can serve as an example for other states.
Pennsylvania State Chapter members are working to develop regional events across the state, introducing youth to hunting through hands-on instruction in hunter safety, ethics and shooting skills. NWTF volunteers hope to work in partnership with state agencies to guide youth participants on a follow-up mentored hunt.
“Pennsylvania NWTF is honored to have been chosen by L.L.Bean to receive the proceeds from the auction to be used toward introducing youth to our sport,” said Leslie Smith, NWTF Pennsylvania outreach coordinator.
The JAKES program is one of three major NWTF outreach programs attempting to increase the number of hunters. The other two major programs are Women in the Outdoors and Wheelin’ Sportsmen.
More than 100,000 youth between the ages of 5 and 17 are exposed to conservation and the outdoor lifestyle each year through JAKES events supervised by expert outdoor instructors. Typical JAKES events include target shooting, archery, and other outdoor activities as well as hunter safety and conservation education.
The showpieces of the JAKES program are JAKES Take Aim trailers, which contain portable shooting ranges. In 2013, 49 states will have at least one JAKES Take Aim trailer to use at JAKES events.
The NWTF, a nonprofit organization, is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. The NWTF is dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage.
Through vital partnerships with state, federal and provincial agencies, the NWTF and our members have conserved 17.3 million acres of wildlife habitat, investing $412 million.
Read and join the discussion on L.L.Bean Helps NWTF Launch ‘Learn to Hunt’ Program in Pennsylvania at OutdoorHub.com.
October 17, 2012
Don’t wait until the last minute. Visit one of the public shooting ranges operated by Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife to ensure you are ready for hunting season. There are several ranges located around the state, allowing hunters the opportunity to perfect their shooting skills. Three central Ohio counties (Delaware, Fayette and Licking) offer rifle, pistol, shotgun and archery ranges.
Ranges are classified by the type of facilities offered and whether they are supervised. A Class “A” range has a full-time attendant and requires users to have a valid shooting range permit for all persons 18 years and older. Shooters age 17 and under are not required to purchase a permit, but must be accompanied and supervised by an adult (age 18 years or older) holding a valid shooting range permit. Permits are available for purchase online at WILDOHIO .COM or at any hunting and fishing license outlet. The one-day shooting range permit is $5.00 and allows the permit holder to access a Class “A” for one visit. The annual shooting range permit is $24.00 and allows the permit holder to access any of the Division of Wildlife Class “A” range throughout the year. The annual permit expires on February 28th of each year. (Note: All Class “A” ranges except Spring Valley Wildlife Area are closed during January and February.)
The central Ohio Class “A” ranges are located at Deer Creek Wildlife Area in Fayette County and Delaware Wildlife Area in Delaware County. They are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Range permits are not sold at the ranges and must be purchased before arriving. Also, please remember to bring your own paper targets and target holder.
Class “D” archery ranges are located at Deer Creek Wildlife Area in Fayette County, Delaware Wildlife Area in Delaware County and Hebron Fish Hatchery in Licking County. These ranges are open free-of-charge, no permit is required. They are open every day, sunrise to sunset.
Delaware and Deer Creek Wildlife Areas also offer Class “B” shotgun ranges that are free to use, no permit required. These ranges are open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Read and join the discussion on Division of Wildlife Offers Public Ranges in Central Ohio at OutdoorHub.com.
September 13, 2012
DWR launches program to get Utahns outdoors
If hunting, fishing or shooting sports are activities you’re interested in—but you don’t know how to get started—a new Division of Wildlife Resources program is the answer.
And the program will give seasoned hunters, anglers and shooters new opportunities too.
On Sept. 12, DWR Director Jim Karpowitz announced that a new Wildlife Recreation Program had been formed in the agency. The new program combines and unites the DWR’s existing hands-on recruitment, retention and public outreach efforts, give those efforts increased emphasis and puts them together in one place in the agency’s Conservation Outreach Section.
Karpowitz says the DWR’s community fisheries youth fishing clubs, Dedicated Hunter, hunter education, shooting ranges, shooting sports, watchable wildlife, Great Salt Lake Nature Center, special events and volunteer programs are all part of the new Wildlife Recreation Program.
Karpowitz says the hands-on activities each program provides will receive more emphasis as a result of increased internal teamwork and partnerships with outside groups, organizations and businesses.
“One of the objectives of this new program is to provide more hands-on outdoor activities,” Karpowitz says. “The activities will give youth—and everyone else who is interested—more chances to learn how to hunt, fish and enjoy a variety of shooting sports in Utah.”
He says a coordinator will be hired to run the program. The job opening should be announced soon.
“The traditions of fishing, hunting and shooting sports are an important part of the quality of life here in Utah,” Karpowitz says. “The ongoing funding our agency receives—and the future of Utah’s wildlife—depend on more Utahns supporting wildlife management and conservation.”
September 13, 2012
As more youth become involved in the shooting sports industry, the need for proper firearm safety education becomes essential. Thanks to a recent donation of $152,900 from MidwayUSA owners Larry and Brenda Potterfield, youth all across the country are learning the safe way to handle firearms through various programs offered by Whitetails Unlimited (WTU).
As more youth get introduced to shooting and hunting, ingraining them with the basic fundamentals of firearm safety is a goal for youth organizations all across the country. Whitetails Unlimited has developed programs and shooting teams for youth that in the past year alone have been responsible for introducing over 16,000 youth to the shooting sports.
“Brenda and I love helping organizations who truly want to affect the future of our youth,” said founder and CEO Larry Potterfield. “Whitetails Unlimited is a very community oriented organization and we know that our support will help them educate youth on safe handling and safe use of firearms, which is exactly what we want!”
The WTU programs are designed to increase participation in the shooting sports by encouraging WTU members to invite youth to go shooting at their local ranges. The programs also provide chapters opportunities to continue the WTU mission of educating youth on ethical hunting practices.
“MidwayUSA sets the benchmark when it comes to assisting youth in acquiring the skills and knowledge they need to improve their marksmanship and safely enjoy shooting,” said WTU President Jeff Schinkten. “Their continued support for Kids on Target confirms that WTU is on the right track when it comes to honing a young person’s shooting abilities.”
For more information on Whitetails Unlimited, please visit www.whitetailsunlimited.com.
Outdoor Hub, The Outdoor Information Engine - Industry Leaders Donate $152,900 to Whitetails Unlimited Firearms Program
August 6, 2012
The NWTF will present $660,000 in endowments to 33 high school and collegiate shooting organizations throughout the nation through the Scholastic Shooting Trust, a foundation created by MidwayUSA owners Brenda and Larry Potterfield.
Each program will receive a $20,000 endowment made possible by NWTF members through funds raised at NWTF events. They are being distributed this summer.
The National Wild Turkey Federation fully supports shooting sports, and believes they are a safe and informal gateway to hunting. The NWTF recognizes hunters as the foundation of wildlife conservation.
“The NWTF is proud to play a major role in supporting youth shooting programs,” said Tom Hughes, NWTF assistant vice president of education and outreach programs. “These endowments have a tremendous impact in sustaining and growing the programs of the recipients.”
The recipients include school organizations from 18 states. The shooting programs can use the interest generated from the endowment each year to pay for shooting program expenses.
Recipients also are encouraged to use the money to hold fundraisers.
“Competitive shooting teams provide wonderful opportunities for students to make friends, to develop confidence and learn discipline and leadership skills,” said Larry Potterfield, founder and CEO of MidwayUSA. “However, most schools provide little or no funding for shooting teams, so it’s up to us to help.”
Teams that wish to be considered for endowments should contact the NWTF regional director for their area. NWTF regional directors can be found by going to http://www.nwtf.org/in_your_state/, clicking on your state then clicking on “Field Staff.” Or you can call the NWTF at (800) THE-NWTF.
“This money will make a significant difference for our program,” said Marie Kibbey, coach of recipient Sheffield (Pa.) High School. “We try to provide kids with a safe place to go out and shoot. It’s hard for them to pay all the expenses out of their own pockets.”
The NWTF – a national nonprofit organization – is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation and dedicated to the preservation of our hunting heritage in North America.
Through vital partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and our members have helped restore wild turkey populations throughout North America, investing more than $372 million to conserve 17 million acres of wildlife habitat.
2012 Scholastic Shooting Trust Recipients
- Arkansas – Ecclesia College, Springdale;
- California – Granite Bay High School;
- Florida – Jacksonville University;
- Georgia – Augusta State University; Benedictine Military School, Savannah; Monroe Area High School, Monroe;
- Illinois – Chester High School; Sparta High School; Steeleville High School; Trico High School, Campbell Hill;
- Indiana – Purdue University Rifle and Purdue University Shotgun, West Lafayette;
- Iowa – Glidden-Ralston High School, Glidden;
- Kentucky – Murray State University Rifle;
- Michigan – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor;
- Mississippi – Mississippi State University, Starkville;
- Missouri – Marshall High School;
- New Mexico – Hot Springs High School, Truth or Consequences;
- Ohio – Ohio University Competitive Pistol, Akron;
- Oklahoma – Oklahoma State University Shotgun Sports Club, Stillwater;
- Oregon – Henley High School, Klamath Falls;
- Pennsylvania – Indiana University; Sheffield High School; Sullivan County High School, Laporte;
- South Carolina – The Citadel Rifle, Charleston; Clemson University; Clemson University Shotgun; South Pointe High School AFJROTC, Rock Hill; Wardlaw Academy, Johnston; Wyman King Academy, Batesburg-Leesville;
- Wisconsin – Jefferson High School, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Outdoor Hub, The Outdoor Information Engine - NWTF Presents $660,000 in Endowments to 33 School Programs
June 25, 2012
Do you remember the first gun you ever fired? I remember my dad’s .22. I still have it, but it seems that it was a different gun then. At that time, it was very long and very heavy. I still remember that it felt very dense and heavy, the way a heavy target rifle feels to an adult who has never handled one.
I remember firing a shotgun for the first time, too. It was a 16 gauge single shot that weighed about 5 pounds. I thought the recoil was brutal. I was concerned with recoil and as a result, the first shotgun I bought was a seven pound 20 gauge gas operated semi-auto.
In those days there weren’t very many guns designed for small people. The first ones I recall were H&R Topper single shots in 20 and .410 gauges with short stocks and short barrels. It was probably 1980 before the major manufacturers started making pumps and semi-autos for small people. I keep saying small people because most women need shortened guns as much as young people.
Now we have youth .22s, youth shotguns and youth deer rifles. Some of these guns cost over a thousand dollars. We have come a long way from the $29.97 .410 full choke single shot. These new guns don’t just cost more; they provide a young shooter with a gun that will allow them to really learn how to shoot without handicaps.
Shotguns probably are the biggest chunk of this market. While that single shot .410 was OK for squirrels and the occasional rabbit, it was hardly a tool for learning the principals of wing-shooting. A .410 is the gauge for advanced shot-gunners, not novices. The ballistics of the .410 are unforgiving when firing at moving targets. Since the weight of the gun and the recoil of a 12 are too much for smaller people, the 20 gauge is the logical choice. The 20 gives a trade off of the size of the shot charge against its lighter weight. The 20 gauge can be pretty versatile, with a lot of loads available that allow it to do most of what shotguns are required to do.
For practical purposes the only guns worth serious consideration are pumps and semi-autos, since the single shots are too light to soak up the recoil and quality ones are close in price to the pumps. Young shooters also need the option of matching the choke to the application, an option only afforded with the pumps and autos with screw in chokes. If you take money out of the equation, the semi autos are the easy winner. Their weight is close to the pumps, but they have the added advantage of gas operation in most models. Gas operation spreads recoil out over a longer time period and makes the gun much more comfortable for the shooter.
If money is a major issue, the pumps look best. Youth model pumps in the three major brands often sell for less than $250.00. This is around half the price of the semi autos. If you do choose a pump, consider replacing the recoil pad. The ones that come on the guns are pretty hard and not nearly a effective as a Pachmayer or other name brand pad. The pumps do have the advantage of slightly lighter weight and being able to function on super light “trainer” shells.
Light weight is a big issue. For a small person to handle a gun and shoot moving targets, it must be light enough for them to move comfortably. Keep the ratio of gun weight to shooter weight in mind. A 6 pound gun in the hands of someone that weighs 90 pounds feels like a 12 pound gun in the hands of someone that weighs 180 pounds. Extra weight in the butt on the gun does not have so much effect, but on the muzzle, it makes swinging the gun very difficult.
In the rifle category the choices are simpler. Most of the youth guns are simple shortened versions of their adult counterparts. They are offered in low recoil calibers. I think the single shots, like the Thompson Center guns, are a valid choice for youth rifles. The extra recoil is not as much of a factor, since there is not as much repetitive shooting as with shotgun, so the light weight is not a liability.
Rifle or shotgun, regardless of type, make sure the gun is comfortable to shoot. The pain of excessive recoil can create bad habits that take years to reverse, or even worse, can turn a kid against shooting altogether.
While the concept of youth guns is fairly new, the need has always been there. We are fortunate to have so many to choose from. I have a 10 year old friend who shoots sporting clays. He is the son of my business partner, Billy Lagle. Trey shoots a 391 Berreta and does very well on doves, ducks and other game. He breaks around 35% on sporting clays and is deadly on simpler shots. Having the right gun makes all the difference.