By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
The state of Kansas has hunting seasons all year round for a wide variety of animals from deer to antelope and game birds, such as doves, pheasants and turkeys.
Before hitting the fields for their quarry, though, those new to hunting are required to learn some of the basics of the outdoor sport and necessary safety, and local hunting enthusiasts will have two chances to do so this fall.
Seward County is offering two-day hunter education courses. The courses are open to anyone. No fee is required. However, no one under the age of 11 will be certified in hunter education.
The first session will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. The second session will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 6 and from 1 to 6 p.m. Nov. 7. All classes will take place at the Seward County Ag Building.
Seward County K-State Extension agent Mike Hanson said the October class has been filled, and half of the spots have been reserved for the November classes.
Hanson said participants need only bring themselves for the course.
“All the other equipment will be provided,” he said. “They’ll even get a free lunch out of the deal on Saturday. It’s pretty basic starting out, so they just need to bring the willingness to learn and listen and commit the day and a half. They’ve got to be there the whole time to get certified.”
Hanson explained some of what the classes will involve.
“First of all, it’s going to be about safety, and that’s going to be a large part of the class,” he said. “Weather permitting, they’ll probably be able to go out and do a little bit of practice of shooting skills with the equipment provided.”
For more information or to pre-register and reserve a spot, contact the Seward County K-State Extension office at 624-5604.
As amended and effective Jan. 1, 2005, Kansas law provides:
o Anyone born on or after July 1, 1957, must be certified by an approved course in hunter education before they can hunt in Kansas except that anyone 15 years old and under may hunt without hunter education certification provided that they are under the direct supervision of an adult 18 years old or older.
o Effective July 1, 2007, individuals 16 or older may purchase a one-time deferral of the hunter education requirements by purchasing an apprentice hunting license. Holders of apprentice hunting licenses must hunt under the supervision of a licensed hunter age 18 or older.
o Hunter education certification issued by any state, Canadian province or some foreign jurisdictions are deemed to meet the requirements of Kansas law.
NOTE: Hunting on some federal properties requires a valid hunter education certification regardless of age. This requirement takes precedence over Kansas law.
o No one under the age of 11 will be certified in hunter education. Those under age 11 may take the course on a space available basis. Anyone taking the hunter education courses prior to age 11, will be required to take the course again for certification after turning 11.
o No one under age 12 may hunt by themselves regardless of hunter education certification status. All hunters under age 12 must hunt under the direct supervision of an adult age 18 or older.
o Those under age 12 may not hunt with others under age 12 unless the group is under the direct supervision of an adult age 18 or older.
o Those hunters age 12 and older may hunt by themselves provided that they possess a valid hunter education certification.
o Hunters turning age 16 must have completed a hunter education course before they may purchase their first hunting license.
o All hunters age 16 to age 27, and all hunters age 12 to age 16 hunting alone, must carry proof of hunter education while hunting.