Hunter Education & Safety
Nov 06th 2017
Hunting is a popular year-round activity in Florida, from deer and turkey hunting excursions most common in the fall to alligator and black bear hunts aiming to manage Florida’s population. Whether you’re culling the herd or gearing up to marinade, dehydrate or grill up something tasty, hunting can prove to be a dangerous sport if you aren’t vigilant.
All hunting seasons require a hunting license specific to the species and season. If you were born after May 31, 1975, you’re required to complete a hunter safety course to purchase a hunting license and hunt by yourself in Florida. But even if you aren’t subject to the requirement, gun training is an excellent way to refresh yourself on safe gun practices and skills.
Six Maritime offers gun training courses year-round, covering fundamentals of firearm use with instructors working with you to ensure you have the concepts, information, skills, and support needed to be a responsible gun owner.
Hunter Safety Courses in Gainesville, FL
Traditional Hunter Safety Course
The traditional hunter safety course is taught over six hours in a classroom setting, either during two weeknights or in one weekend. During this part of the course, hunters learn ethics, how to identify animal species, wildlife conservation, outdoor survival techniques, and first aid. Also covered in the course are the parts of a firearm; proper shooting technique; various bullets, calibers, and gauges; and bowhunting.
Online Hunter Safety Course
The online hunter safety course is the same as the traditional, except all information is presented online. With this option, hunters are given a practice test to review the information learned and prepare them for the required skills day.
In Florida, the skills day is the final part to either a traditional or online hunter safety course. Hunters have hands-on training and are required to display proper firearm safety along with tree-stand safety. Other hunting skills tested are taking an ethical shot, loading and unloading the firearm, and shooting from different positions with a rifle, shotgun, and bow.
Hunter Safety vs. Hunter Education
Though it may seem there’s a difference between hunter safety and hunter education, you experience both facets during a course.
To undertake hunting for hobby and sport carries a great responsibility for yourself, others, and wildlife. As with many things in life, being responsible in how you approach an activity, in this case hunting, goes a long way to the perception of it by those who do not hunt. A responsible hunter obeys all hunting laws, does not poach, practices safety rules, and is courteous and respectful of others and of wildlife.
Taking a hunter education and safety course teaches you the basics of hunting practices. It, however, doesn’t teach you how your firearm operates or how to safely handle it. Six Maritime offers gun training classes throughout the year, including a handgun course which can help you both respect and master the weapon. These classes are for gun owners and enthusiasts of all levels of experience.
While the basics of hunting safety skills are taught during a hunter education course, only hands-on training and practice can really teach you these skills. Although getting into the field and putting your skills and knowledge into practice will truly help develop them, so will hunting with an experienced hunter or mentor. Hunters born before May 31, 1975 are encouraged to take advantage of the mentoring license. This license aims to have experienced hunters act as mentors to those new to the sport, teaching them safety, ethics, conservation, and more.
How to Prepare for Hunting Day
Preparing for hunting day doesn’t have to be complicated if you keep these basics in mind before you go out.
Complete a Gun Safety Course
Even if you’re not required by Florida law to complete a gun safety course to buy a hunting license, Six Maritime recommends taking one to brush up on your skills and knowledge before the next season starts.
Check Your Firearm and Gear
One of the tenants of safe hunting is ensuring your weapon, whether a firearm or bow, is in good working order. A defective weapon can endanger not only the person using it, but others who may be hunting with you. The same goes for any tree stand being used before and after it is set up. Also, double check you have all identification and licenses with you before you head out to hunt.
Enjoy the Hunt
Many people describe hunting as a relaxing experience, whether they fill their hunting tag during the season. Every hunt is different and allows hunters the chance to learn about or re-experience the Florida outdoors while enjoying a sport that has been and will be around for years to come.
No matter the type of hunting, your weapon of choice, or where you choose to hunt, Six Maritime encourages safety and responsibility above all else this hunting season. Be courteous to other hunting parties and good luck!