During the nine years I spent working as a high school science teacher I witnessed a massive shift in education. The chalkboards and textbooks I used my first year were replaced by tablets, laptops and smartboards less than a decade later. There’s a wealth of information available online today; you can now learn to fix a leaky toilet, read hundreds of reviews on new products or earn your master’s degree without leaving the comforts of home.
Now, thanks to the NRA’s Hunter Education website, you can also master the basic skills required to obtain a hunting license via the internet. The NRA’s involvement in hunter education is nothing new: In 1940 the organization began developing safe firearm handling curricula, and in 1949 the NRA helped design the first hunter education program in conjunction with the New York Division of Fish and Wildlife. It’s no surprise, then, that the NRA is at the forefront of the push for effective online hunter education courses that allow hunters in any state to obtain a license—and learn the skills they need to be a safe hunter.
A hectic schedule filled with work duties, grocery shopping trips and doctor appointments may mean a traditional classroom-based hunter education course is difficult for you. Not so long ago, that would have precluded you from getting a in obtaining your hunter education certification, but that’s no longer the case. Having the freedom to take online hunter education courses has eliminated the need to work around someone else’s schedule. You can begin a course, pause as needed, and continue working on the lesson again once you have free time.
The other advantage to online hunter education is that new hunters don’t have to feel the pressure of sitting in a classroom with other students. Many new hunters—especially those who have no experience with the sport because they did not grow up in a hunting family—feel overwhelmed and underprepared to sit through a hunter education course. Online learning allows for students to read, watch or listen to lessons and, if they miss something, they can go back and review before moving on to the next portion of the course. In addition, the NRA Hunter Education course is free.
Why It Works
I don’t know what your hunter education course was like, but mine consisted of long periods spent listening to an elderly gentleman read aloud from the hunter education handbook with the same level of enthusiasm you might expect from someone reciting assembly instructions for a new bookshelf. Well-designed online hunter education courses are more interesting, more engaging and offer plenty of videos, audio segments, text and images to help relate the material in an effective manner. And, since the NRA has designed and supported their new Hunter Education course, you can be assured that the information provided is thorough and accurate.
How do I know? I enrolled in the NRA Hunter Education course and went through the lessons. The audio, graphics, and video quality are excellent and the coursework covers the breadth of material new hunters need to know before heading afield. Gun safety, as you might imagine, is heavily stressed, but there are also visual representations of how firearms function. And despite the fact that I sat through those original hunter education courses over 25 years ago, I picked up new information as I progressed through the course.
Who It’s For
The obvious answer to that question would be anyone, young or old, who wants to obtain a hunting license. For youngsters who grew up in the age of iPhones and smart devices, online hunter education courses provide new information in a platform that seems familiar. If you aren’t particularly tech-savvy there’s no need to worry; if you can operate a modern cellular phone or check your e-mail on your laptop, you’ll find navigating through the various courses on the NRA Hunter Education program is quite simple.
The NRA Hunter Education course not only teaches the basic safety skills required to hunt but also illustrates how important the billions of dollars generated each year by America’s 14 million hunters are to the economy and to wildlife conservation. A truth that’s lost on many anti-hunters is the fact that the money generated by regulated hunting helps fund many crucial wildlife projects, everything from habitat restoration to field research to enforcement of wildlife laws. In that regard the NRA’s online Hunter Education program not only teaches students how to hunt, but why we hunt. Understanding that ethical hunting not only benefits hunters but also wildlife and the public at large is critical to the continued protection of our sporting traditions. Because of this, I’d recommend the NRA Hunter Education course to everyone—to parents of children who are interested in the sport, to wildlife enthusiasts, and even to staunch anti-hunters who feel compelled to denigrate the sport without truly understanding the basic tenets of safe, ethical hunting. The North American model of conservation works, and it works because well-educated, ethical, safe hunters are the foundation of wildlife management in this country. Tools like online hunter education help ensure that the future of the sport by making hunter ed courses available to everyone.