HELENA — Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) will require a field day for youth who take online hunter education.
The change impacts students ages 12 to 17, completing hunter and bow hunter education.
Greg Lemon, an administrator for FWP, says students who only did the online version of Hunters Education had a more challenging time when they started hunting.
“Our instructors said that by and large, those online students, particularly the younger ones, had a hard time with the gun handling portion. So, controlling your muzzle, keeping your finger off the trigger, those sorts of things. And what our instructors do is they walk through a whole host of situations that a hunter would encounter in the field and how to safely handle your gun in those situations,” Lemon said.
The in-person field day will require students to demonstrate safe firearm handling skills and the four firearm safety rules.
As well as the “point-remove-observe-verify-and-examine” or prove procedure.
Some of the actions they will complete include safely crossing a fence with a firearm, handing off a firearm, and removing a firearm from a vehicle.
The field day will also include discussions on ethics, land ownership, and access.
Students ages 12 to 17 who are currently enrolled would have had to complete their coursework before January 1st, or they will be required to complete an in-person field day.
FWP hopes to start their 2024 field days in late February. You can get signed up or volunteer as a field instructor by visiting their website at https://fwp.mt.gov/hunt/education/hunter