Hunter Education – Maintaining the Tradition

Maintaining the Tradition…

2016 marks 40 years of teaching Hunter Education classes for New York State 4-H Shooting Sports Director, Bill Schwerd and 20 years for his son, Mike Schwerd of Schuylerville, NY. Both avid sportsmen with extensive knowledge, Bill and Mike have notably dedicated themselves to teaching and mentoring thousands of youth and adults to be safe and responsible hunters in New York State over the course of their tenure as Volunteer Instructors.

NYS4-HSS Director, Bill Schwerd (L) with son, Mike Schwerd (R)

NYS4-HSS Director, Bill Schwerd (L) with son, Mike Schwerd (R)

This fall, New York State 4-H Shooting Sports programs will offer Hunter Education Courses, under the auspices of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, that will educate many hundreds of students across the state. These courses are part of NYS4-HSS’s mission to expand firearms safety and responsibility initiatives and impart important conservation principles and valuable outdoor life skills knowledge to all individuals who participate in the Shooting Sports.

Hunter Education Certification in New York State is administered by DEC. Persons seeking to take a Hunter Education Course must first pre-register online through New York State DEC for the course they wish to attend – click here to access the Course Registration page.

By law, all hunters aged 12 and over must complete Hunter Education Certification requirements in order to purchase a Hunting License in New York State (unless one is able to show proof of a previous license and/or IHEA reciprocity applies). Youth must be at least 11 years old to take the course.

Answers to many frequently asked questions regarding Hunter Education Certification and Hunting Licenses can be found here with more specific information on Hunting Licenses here.

In addition to DEC Hunter Education Courses, the New York State 4-H Shooting Sports Program will be offering their own specialized Introduction to Shooting Sports courses across the state this fall that cover key safety and shooting skill components for 4-H youth in the disciplines of Air Gun, Archery, Muzzleloader, Rifle and Shotgun with an emphasis on family education and involvement. For more information on these important courses in your area, please contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension Office.