CHEYENNE – Even though the fall hunting seasons are still several months away, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is reminding hunters that now is a good time to take a hunter safety course in preparation for the upcoming hunting seasons.
Wyoming law requires anyone born after 1965 to have hunter education before going hunting. Hunter Education Coordinator Jim Dawson said it is quite common for prospective hunters to call up and want to get into a hunter education course only several weeks before their planned hunting trip.
“It is usually impossible to get a course completed in such a short time frame,” Dawson said. “A minimum of 12 hours is required for course work, and depending on class availability and the class schedule set up by the instructors, it is not realistic to assume everything will always work out to get into a class and get it completed with only a few days of advance preparation.”
Dawson said hunters who have not completed hunter safety do have the option to go hunting under the hunter mentor program, but reminded hunters that one of the qualifications the mentor must have is completion of a hunter safety course. The mentor program has been available to Wyoming hunters since 2008. Under the program, hunters who have not had hunter education are allowed to go hunting provided they are with a mentor at least 18 years of age who has completed an approved hunter safety course. The mentor must possess a valid hunter education card showing completion of the course while in the field with the hunter being mentored. Authorization to participate in the hunter mentor program can be obtained from any Game and Fish office or on the Game and Fish website wgfd.wyo.gov. Click on Education, then on the Hunter Mentor program.
Information on locations and dates of new courses is also listed on the Game and Fish website. The online course schedule is updated continually as instructors make arrangements for upcoming courses.
“If a course is not listed in your area, check the website often for updates,” Dawson said. “Once listed, courses often fill quickly. Rosters are compiled on a first-come, first-served basis.”