Attention hunting families! Time to sign up the kids (and others) for firearms safety class

Now is the time for people to sign up for a firearms safety hunting education class offered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“Instructors from throughout the state are calling in right now to set up spring classes, so this is the time to get your son or daughter registered before the fall hunting seasons begin,” said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR hunter education coordinator..

Anyone born after Dec. 31, 1979 must take a DNR safety training course and receive a certificate of completion before purchasing a license for big or small game.

“Every year we have hopeful hunters who wait until the last minute to take a hunter safety class only to find out they have missed their opportunity to do so,” Hammer said. “Usually we are able to work them into a class somewhere, but every year there are a few who simply cannot hunt because they do not have hunter safety certification.”

Also, hunters frequently encounter problems when they hunt states where more stringent hunter education requirements are required. For example, Colorado requires a hunter education certificate for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1949, and neighboring states such as North Dakota and Iowa have requirements for those born after 1961 and 1967.

Hunters who have lost their certificate or have questions about certification for other states, should get a firearms safety certificate in hand now so they won’t miss the opportunity to hunt in Minnesota or take that trip of a lifetime to another state this fall, Hammer said.

Spring classes are currently available around the state but fill-up fast. For more information, visit www.mndnr.gov or call 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367.

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