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Hunting Instructor Shortage Brings Larger Numbers to Rochester Safety Classes

October 22, 2017 04:45 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- As the fall deer hunting season approaches, many new hunters are working to get their licenses. But local instructors say in parts of Minnesota, there aren't enough instructors to teach field safety classes.

Saturday, dozens of new hunters, mostly kids, took part in a "field day," learning how to safely cross fences and board canoes with their firearms, as well as taking some practice shots while standing, sitting and kneeling.

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Most of the students at Saturday's class are taking the hunter safety course online, making the field day that much more important so hunters learn the things that can't be taught on a computer, firearm safety instructor Stef Donaldson said.

"We want to make sure that we as adults have safe hunting partners, and the only way to ensure that is by keep coming out and supporting the changing of the times and being here for all of the youth," she said.

The field day drew students from Olmsted County to more than 200 miles away, since similar programs can fill up in days or even hours, instructor Dave Paxton said.

"There is more of a demand than there is a supply in the metro area," he said. "When we put our class online, within 10 days we have [the maximum] 40 students."

And while so many activities take up kids' time, Donaldson said it's nice to see kids enjoying the great outdoors and spending time with their families like she and her father did growing up.

"They're in drama, they're in football, they're in hockey, they're in dance, they have all of that, but we're also in Minnesota, we have great hunting seasons, we have state land, there's a lot of private land, it's just a nice avenue to set the technology down, go out and be one with nature," she said.

For a full list of future field days, visit the DNR's website. 

http://dnr.state.mn.us/safety/firearms/index.html 


KAAL-TV

Copyright 2017 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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