MONTPELIER >> It's back to school season ... for would-be hunters.
With most hunting seasons just around the corner, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is urging new hunters to sign up now for a hunter education course.
Classes fill up quickly, but securing a spot is easy with Vermont Fish & Wildlife's online Hunter Education Program registration system. All would-be hunters, trappers and bowhunters are required to complete their respective course before purchasing their first license.
"Classes are held throughout the year, but their numbers peak now through early fall," said Nicole Meier in Fish & Wildlife's Hunter Education Program. "This is the time to sign up and complete a course, because once hunting seasons begin, our volunteer instructors want to be out in the field."
To find your course, enroll at www.register-ed.com/programs/vermont. The system includes maps and directions, instant confirmation and reminder emails, and a function that allows you to contact a course instructor directly. You can view the number of open spaces remaining in a course and receive email notifications when new courses become available in your area.
For would-be hunters finding it hard to fit a traditional course into their hectic schedule, the department now offers online options. The online Homestudy Basic Firearm (hunting) and Trapper Education courses allow students to learn and complete the written portion of the content before attending a hands-on field day by completing a workbook or online course. Just be sure to sign up for a homestudy class before starting.
New this year, the Hunter Education Program is also unveiling online bowhunter education homework, available here: https://www.bowhunter-ed.com/vermont.
The Vermont Hunter Education Program's 350 volunteer instructors certify almost 5,000 students annually. The course and all materials are provided free of charge through funding provided by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program. There is no minimum age, but most materials are written at the sixth grade level.
You also can access online course registration through the department's website (vtfishandwildlife.com). For more information or if you need help signing up for a class, call the Hunter Education Program at 802-828-1193.