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Monday, February 2, 2015

Sign up now for a firearms safety hunter education class

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

"Volunteer 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 Acting Capt. Jon Paurus, 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," Paurus said. "The fall is when many of our volunteer instructors would like to be enjoying the outdoors as well, which means it can be more difficult to find a class." 

Also, hunters frequently encounter problems when they hunt in states with more stringent hunter education requirements. 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.  

For a list of classes or to check requirements from other states, visit the safety/education Web page at www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/index.html

Classes generally fill up quickly but check the listing often as more classes are being added daily. For more information, call 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367. 

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