The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is coming to Central Oregon Community College this February, to give 20 prospective students the opportunity to complete a hunter’s safety course and legally be able to hunt.
“Last year our phones were ringing off the hook,” says Jefferson County 4-H Coordinator Jon Gandy, who has taken over as the instructor this year. “Even after the slots were all filled, we had people still trying to register for the class.”
Students involved in this course will have the opportunity to earn their Hunter Safety Card, which is required in the state of Oregon to be able to hunt. According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website, possessing a Hunter Safety Card is mandatory for hunters under the age of 18 unless they are hunting on land owned by their parents or legal guardian, or if they are participating in the Mentored Youth Hunter Program.
The class is open to all ages, currently will hold 20 students and has four open slots left. A fee of $10 with registration, which the Department of Fish and Wildlife uses to purchase and provide equipment to students. Courtney Snead, campus coordinator for the COCC branch in Madras praised the idea, saying that 4-H and OSU’s Extension Service identified the course as “a need” for Jefferson County youth.
“This class is geared toward kids because of the requirement that hunters under 18 need to have a safety card,” said Snead. “A lot of hunters live here in Central Oregon and more often than not, their children hunt as well thus the need increased.”
The first six classes, on Feb. 7, 9, 14, 16 and 23 will be taking place at COCC, with the final class on Feb. 25 held at the Rifle Archery and Pistol Association in Madras, Oregon, where a live-fire exercise will be part of the final test. The first six classes will each last two hours from 6 to 8 p.m., with the final day lasting from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m..
“Really, even though it’s geared toward kids it’s a great class for anyone who wants to get the proper accreditation to hunt,” said Snead.