I recently attended an archery education course sponsored by the National Bowhunter Education Foundation. My motivation for doing so was rooted it it being mandatory for acceptance into the Bowhunter Certification and Referral Service.
It’s great that the Service makes it mandatory, however a majority of the content was definitely second nature for many in the room. After more than 20 years of bowhunting, I’m happy to report I knew most of the curriculum. Most in the room did too. But highlights of attending the free course included a small number of individuals looking to join the bowhunter ranks. I’m a huge proponent of bowhunting so appreciated those hunters taking the leap.
Another highlight included one of the “teachers” lining up a NC Wildlife Resource Officer to chat with the group. And kudos to area sergeant CN Ingram for spending more than 90 minutes with the participants of the course, answering questions and providing insight into a number of hot topics within the state of NC wildlife.
According to Ingram, one of the biggest current challenges the state encounters is finding volunteers willing to help serve as instructors for the state-sponsored hunter safety and education programs.
That’s a shame.
While the bowhunter course I took was more of a repeat, I do remember many years ago being a young want-to-be hunter taking the overarching hunter safety course. I remember spending much of the course imagining the chance to shoot a 12 ga. shotgun during the range portion of the course. I also remember learning some of the fundamental tools that piqued my curiousity about hunting. It sent me searching to learn more – both via feverish reading of outdoor magazines and through first-hand experimentation in nature’s classroom.
Simply put, that course was a great guidepost for my inquiring mind. And it’s a must for young people looking to learn about the sport. Like most states, in North Carolina the course is needed before a young hunter can legally hunt on their own. To me, the challenge of finding instructors likely increases the ability for youngsters to find places to take the course and could prevent or stunt their desire to become hunters.
For a sport in great peril for recruiting the next generation of hunters, that is not good.
I’ll put my time where my words are here and look into volunteering to become an instructor. So too are a few of my friends. It’s something we all should consider.
– I referenced above, the North Carolina Bowhunters Association’s BCRS program. It’s a great service that relies on archery hunters to help control and conserve deer populations in populated areas. More specifically, according to the group itself, “the primary goal of the BCRS program is to provide a “FREE” service to the public by offering certified bowhunters to assist with deer management programs.”
– I took a little video during the bowhunter course of Jamie, one of the instructors, showing the class how to tie a prusik knot. For anyone who doesn’t know how to tie one, it’s very easy and can help save lives. The knot is among the leading options for hunters as a knot for use with a safety harness in climbing in and out of treestands. Here is a video showing how to do the knot.
– Headed into the event, The Biscuit and I saw a big female red fox cross a driveway in front of us. After looking deeper into her whereabouts, we found a pair of fox pups hanging out in a nearby drainage pipe.