The Arizona Game and Fish Department has rolled out its new “introductory” hunter education course. The program can be taken either in a classroom setting or by independent study online over the Internet.
Both the classroom and online formats require students to demonstrate proficiency and pass an exam during a field day with certified instructors to complete the course.
The new course was developed as a convenient alternative for beginning hunters who either don’t have the time to take the traditional 20-hour basic class or who can’t find a class or an opening in their area.
Content was developed over the past year through collaboration between the department’s education staff, wildlife managers and biologists, and volunteer hunter education instructors throughout the state. The course meets International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) national standards but is also tailored to Arizona’s specific needs.
This new offering now gives people three primary alternatives for hunter education training in Arizona:
• The new “introductory” course — can be taken through seven to 10 hours of classroom study or through self-paced, independent study online. Both options also require a four- to five-hour field day.
• The traditional “basic” course encompasses about 20 hours, including a four-hour field day.
• The expanded “basic plus bowhunting” course. It’s a 28-hour course that includes the basic class and the National Bowhunter Education Foundation (NBEF) and International Bowhunter Education Program (IBEP) bowhunter education class, and a five- to six-hour field day.
Nonresidents who have completed hunter education training in another state have an additional option — a “supplemental” course that educates them on Arizona hunting issues.
One of the cornerstones of all the courses is the development of a new, state-of-the-art hunter education manual.
It covers firearms safety, ethics, hunting skills, hunting laws, survival skills and wildlife conservation, among other topics.
The new course isn’t meant to replace the existing basic course.
It’s offered as a convenient alternative for people who might otherwise be deterred from taking a hunter education class due to time constraints.
Arizona’s current hunter education program graduates approximately 4,000 students each year.
The courses are taught by about 460 volunteer instructors who are certified by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
It is anticipated that more students, particularly young people, will take hunter education now that the new course is offered.
The cost to take the new introductory hunter education course is nominal, typically under $10 for the classroom option or $15 for the online course.
To learn more about the course and to see when classes are offered, visit www.azgfd.gov/education and click on the “hunter education” link.
Fishing hot spot
ALAMO: The lake has risen about 2 feet with the recent rains. Not only did this give the fish a much-needed blast of oxygen but also bought a couple more months on the boat ramps. Bass fishing is great. From dawn until around noon, there is good surface action down around the dam. It’s no problem to catch 20 to 30 bass using lures like inline spinners, chrome lipless crankbaits and top-water lures. Most of the fish are going 1 1/2 to 2 pounds. Around noon, everything dies off until around 4 p.m. After that, you are in for some of the best bass fishing in the state.
For a complete fishing report from the Arizona Game and Fish Department, go to