SALEM, Ore.--Do you live in Tillamook County and like to hunt? Want to help pass the hunting tradition on to the next generation?
ODFW is seeking volunteer hunter education instructors for Tillamook County, especially in the north and south county area.
“We only have nine current instructors, and we really need 12 active instructors to fill the demand of about 80-110 students from the county each year,” explains Hunter Education Area Coordinator Dan Cotton. “Right now, the only option for students from Nehalem and Manzanita is to travel to Tillamook for a class.”
Volunteers should expect to devote at least 20 hours a year to preparing for and teaching a class, but they won’t go it alone. New instructors receive plenty of guidance from their county’s area coordinator and ODFW hunter education staff. Plus, many classes are team-taught.
Any person under the age of 18 must complete a certified hunter education course to hunt in Oregon. Every new hunter is encouraged to complete the course which covers topics like the safe handling of firearms, hunter ethics, wildlife identification, hunt preparation and techniques and outdoor survival.
ODFW certifies 6,000 new hunters each year through its statewide network of 600 volunteer instructors. Volunteer instructors are not paid but they are reimbursed for equipment and supplies used in teaching the class. ODFW also offers home study courses, though students who choose this option must still take a test in person and attend a field day to receive their hunter education certificate.
“Passing on a tradition of safe and ethical hunting to the next generation is one of the most important things this generation can do to continue the sport,” noted Chris Willard, ODFW hunter education coordinator. “We hope there are some Tillamook County hunters out there who will join us in this cause.”
For more information about volunteering, contact Chris Willard at (503) 947-6016 or email: Chris.A.Willard@state.or.us. For more information on hunter education visit http://www.dfw.state.or.us/education/hunter/index.asp