DEC decides to offer totally online hunter, bowhunter safety courses ‘indefinitely’
Updated Jan 28, 2021; Posted Jan 27, 2021
3,173sharesBy David Figura | firstname.lastname@example.org
The state Department of Environmental Conservation this week confirmed it will continue to offer completely online hunter and bowhunter safety courses.
“Based on 2020′s success, DEC’s online hunter education programs will continue indefinitely.” DEC said.
In addition, DEC is currently putting together a completely online trapper’s education course.
DEC’s decision last year to offer completely online hunter and bowhunter safety courses for the first time was prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In-person classes, which had been the norm, began getting cancelled just prior to the spring turkey hunting season.
The online hunting course was offered to get aspiring turkey hunters their hunter education certifications before the May 1 turkey hunting season opener. By the time regular hunting licenses for the fall seasons went on sale August 10, the online bowhunting safety course was also offered by DEC. Successfully completing a safety courses is requirement for purchasing a hunting license.
The result was that 2020 saw a significant increase in hunter, bowhunter and bowhunting license sales for last year’s hunting seasons.
DEC said a total of 351,274 resident hunting licenses were sold last year. During 2019, there were 315,634 licenses sold. The additional 35,640 licenses sold reflected an increase of more than 11 percent.
Resident bowhunting license jumped by nearly 14 percent, from 151,221 in 2019 to 172,154 in 2020. There was also increase in muzzleloader tags sold – 164,094 to 183,060 – reflecting an increase of more than 11 percent.
The biggest jump came in the sale of resident junior hunting licenses. Those sales jumped from 8,052 in 2019 to 10,203 in 2020. The increase of 2,151 more junior hunters reflected an increase of more than 26 percent.
The end result was that the DEC recorded total of 77,690 more hunting licenses sold this fall compared to last year.
The online courses, made available by Kalkomey, a Texas-based company, will continue to be offered at the same prices: $19.95 for the hunter safety course and $30 for the bowhunter safety course. Those taking the courses have to be at least 11 years old and a New York resident.
According the DEC, more than 50,000 people were certified through DEC’s online hunting safety class this spring. In previous years, that number was about 20,000. More than 21,000 bowhunters finished the online course. In previous years, that number was approximately 10,000.
And what about the in-person classes with instructors? DEC said some were offered beginning in early September last year. Depending on what happens with the pandemic, some may be offered again this spring.
“DEC offered in-person courses from September to November 2020, maintaining strict COVID protocols and procedures including size limits, social distancing, mandatory masks, hand sanitizing, and cleaning of equipment,” DEC said. “We will continue monitoring the pandemic and are in contact with volunteers about potentially planning in-person courses in April to help hunters get certified before turkey season starts in May.”
And what about a trapper safety course, which is required to get a trapping license?
DEC offered a limited home study course for those who did not have immediate access to computers. It was not an online course. It was available for a few months, but with trapping season wrapping up, it is no longer available.
“DEC is currently developing an online trapper education course with more details expected by the end of the summer,” DEC said.
90 in-person courses were completed before the March shutdown
64,276 people completed the online hunter education course
28,423 people completed the online bowhunter education course
107 instructors and 26 volunteers were able to safely offer 67 in-person courses after September 1
262 students completed a home study course so far this Fall
The Greene County Police Officers Association has once again donated generously to the C-A High School Trap Team!
Thank you for your support, it is greatly appreciated.
A new parking area for the pistol range has been created on the right side of the driveway. Please park your vehicle perpendicular to the driveway, nose in or out, to allow maximum capacity.
In addition, the pistol range surface has a layer of sand to reduce/eliminate the chances of ricochets, and a berm has been created just behind the plate rack.
All range rules still apply: Eye and ear protection is mandatory for ALL persons, at all times when beyond the red sign at the entrance to the range. NO PARKING in the area to the left of the range retaining wall. Use of the plate rack is restricted to firing from inside the firing point, between the signs. Firearms must be placed on the bench BEFORE resetting the plate rack with the rope. DO NOT RESET THE RACK WHILE HOLDING YOUR FIREARM.
Enjoy the improved range facilities!