“We’ve been offering the course in some form of electronic format for a very long time. Before there was even an online hunter education course, we offered it on CD-ROM and at that time it was an effort to put something together that was an interactive educational experience that would allow anybody to study at home,” Hunter Development Program Manager Walter Lane said. “There are two different ways you can take the hunter education course: you can take the full 10-hour class and that’s about 25 percent of the courses we offer and about 34 percent of the students who take the course choose that option; or, you can choose to take eight hours of the course electronically ... and we ask you complete the course by taking one of our two-hour review courses in which the material is reviewed, there’s some hands-on activities that go on in that class and then the students take our pencil and paper test.”
There are exceptions for hunters who use short-term licenses or hunt on their own land.
“The reason someone would not be required to take hunter education if they are hunting on their own land is that they are not required to have a hunting license to hunt on their own land,” Lane said.
Completion of a hunter education course is required for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1961, who needs a seasonal license, is at least 12 years old and hunts without adult supervision or hunts deer, turkey or bear in wildlife management areas.
“We teach between 800 and 900 classes a year to somewhere around 14,000 students. About 75 percent of those classes are in some form of electronic media ...,” Lane said.
While there are free electronic courses on CD-ROM, there also are paid options costing up to $24.95. To learn more and to sign up for the courses, visit www.georgiawildlife.com.