By Marj Frew
Learning skills which will last their lifetimes, over 25 local youth attended the Hunt Safe Course, taught by Conservation Officer Tom Beck, and instructor Gary Rayhill. The students met in the Community Room of the Activity Center, for a combination of book work and hands-on training and skills demonstrations.
After completing the course and passing the tests, the young hunters received a certificate which is good for several states, according to Rayhill. They earned their Hunter Safety Card, which is registered in Pierre, for their lifetime.
They also received an orange hunting hat, lapel pin, and special orange neckerchief, which has survival tips printed on it.
Throughout the course, students learned and were tested on a wide range of hunter safety divisions, including learning all five types of firearm actions; demonstrating how to load a firearm; and how to cross a fence in many different weather conditions in a safe manner.
They were required to demonstrate all the shooting positions, and safe firearm carrying positions. They also learned the safety aspects of what to do if they fall while carrying a firearm.
First aid and survival skills were learned, as well as game identification and the care and cleaning of game meat.
The students were also tested on many shoot or don’t shoot scenarios, which stressed safe hunting skills.
These, and many more activities ensured the youth will be well prepared for a lifetime of safe hunting practices.
Gary Rayhill demonstrates the characteristics of a 90-year-old single shot hinge action shotgun during the Safe Hunt Course being taught along with Conservation Officer Tom Beck, right. The course was held in the Martin Grade School Activity Center, October 2 - 4.