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This Week in Fish and Wildlife: FWP seeking hunter education volunteers

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Posted at 11:08 AM, Jul 10, 2023

A growing population and a worldwide pandemic have caused a shortage of hunter's education volunteers in our area. This week we take a look at how you can become involved.

For many hunters, education is the first step into adulthood. Successful completion allows young people to go out into the field as licensed hunters. These glasses are growing in popularity here in Southwest Montana and that means a great need for instructors. MTN’s Chet Layman shares how we can become involved.

“Now that we’re kind of on the other side of that, we’re continuing to see student numbers rise again. But, our number of hunter education instructors has kind of taken a hit. What we’re hoping to do is invite more people to come and volunteer as hunter education instructors,” said FWP’s Morgan Jacobsen.

A prerequisite for taking on this role is experience and passion.

“We would invite anybody who’s passionate about hunting and who enjoys teaching and passing on their experience and knowledge to the next generation to come and volunteer as a hunter education instructor,” said Jacobsen.

You want to help but don’t think you can teach. FWP has loads of resources to help. The need for volunteers goes well beyond the classroom.

“That could come in many different forms. It could be volunteering in a classroom and helping teach kids about firearm safety, about hunting with a bow, and how to go about doing that safely and legally. As well as volunteering at a field day where you actually get to help kids handle and use firearms and teach them how to be safe and successful when they’re out hunting,” said Jacobsen.

All it takes is access to the internet, or just a phone to get started as an instructor.

“The best thing is to go to our website at https://fwp.mt.gov/ and under the education section you’ll find a hunter education program and learn how to become a volunteer. Folks can always also reach out to our Region 3 office in Bozeman at 406-577-7900 and say ‘I want to volunteer with hunter education’ and we’ll get you going,” said Jacobsen.