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Sign up now for a hunter education class

With the fall hunting seasons just around the corner, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is urging all hunters to sign up now for a hunter education class.

"Though classes are held throughout the year, we offer more of them in late summer and early fall," said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR Enforcement Education Program coordinator. "So now is the time to sign up and complete a course, because once the hunting season gets rolling, it might be too late."

Besides ensuring you'll be able to hunt this year, taking the class sooner rather than later means more time for scouting, sighting-in, and securing permission to hunt on private lands.

Minnesota hunters born after Dec. 31, 1979, must take a DNR Hunter Education Firearms Safety Training Course and receive a certificate of completion before purchasing a license for big or small game.

The firearm safety class consists of a minimum of 12 hours of classroom and field experience in the safe handling of firearms and hunter responsibility.

Field experience allows students to learn and demonstrate commonly accepted principles of safety in hunting and the handling of firearms. It includes firing practice on a rifle range. Students who pass the course receive a temporary certificate, allowing them to purchase a hunting license in Minnesota and other states where certification is required.

The department recognizes that courses can be difficult to fit into the hectic schedules of today's fast-moving lifestyle. As a result, the DNR offers independent study course options. These include the on-line or workbook version and are administered through volunteer instructors around the state for those 16 and older.

Independent study courses are not a "short cut" to certification. Experience has shown that they involve a similar amount of time as the traditional firearms safety classroom course..

Hunter education classes fill up fast, so now is the time to register.

The schedule for firearms safety training classes for youth is available online at

Information about online independent classes for adults is available online at ttp://

For more information, call 651-296-6157 or toll free 888-646-6367.