Monday, February 27, 2012

FL Hunter Safety is a lifetime certification.

 Photo credit: NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife 2007
Last weekend I taught Hunter Safety class for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and I realized something that blew me away!  When someone receives their Florida Hunter Safety certification, there is no renewal or retesting - ever.  Florida is not unique to this rule.  So everyone, including the 11 year old I passed will be potentially hunting in the woods, FIFTY years from now, with the same certification and approval I gave to him back in 2012.  That's kind of scary.

I worry when every five or so years and I have to get my driver's license renewed, that I'll l still be able to remember the rules and my eyes will work like their supposed to!  Here we are giving an average citizen who is able to pass a fifty question test, and shoot a gun down range, permission to do so for the rest of their lives!  That is a lot of responsibility.

Is that student still going to remember when Mr. Gus taught them?  I doubt it.  Will they remember to be safe, ethical and responsible hunters?  I hope so, but there are no guarantees.  Note to fellow instructors - take your job seriously, knowing you MAY be the only one to instruct this person for the rest of their lives.  Have you adequately driven in the points they need to know and remember?  Note to parents - folks, please reinforce safety and wildlife conservation with your children.  Someone's life WILL DEPEND ON IT.

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