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Hunter education opps abound in Panhandle

by T.J. ROSS Contributing Writer
| March 8, 2022 1:00 AM

You’ve got options: online, instructor-led hunting and shooting sports-skills classes are now being scheduled.

Idaho Fish and Game is excited to offer instructor-led hunter, bowhunter and combination classes, along with new and exciting hunting and shooting sports skills classes!

Online hunter education is a great resource and will still be available for people wishing to take that route.

What’s the big deal?

The onset and continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the transition from in-person, instructor-led hunter and bowhunter education classes to online.

While the online class works for many people because of its convenience and style, for some, there’s just simply no replacing the instructor-led experience.

This is due in large part to the quality of the volunteer hunter education instructors in Idaho. If you happen to be one of those instructors, thanks for your dedication and passion!

Where the online class differs relative to instructor-led is the hands-on learning components. Meet hunting and shooting sports skills classes!

The low-down on hunting and shooting sports skills classes

Whether you are a seasoned hunter or totally new to the game, the new and improved hunting and shooting sports skills classes will not disappoint. Plus, the classes offer a great opportunity to bolster the concepts learned in online hunter education with hands-on experience and mentoring.

Across the state, Fish and Game staff are developing and will soon be scheduling classes on a variety of topics. From survival and orienteering skills to field dressing and skinning to how-to hunt for (name the species) 101 classes; the opportunities are incredibly diverse. 

Two of these types of classes are currently available in the Southwest Region:

  • Basic Archery
  • Basic Airgun Fundamentals

In 2021, staff in the Panhandle Region coordinated a “Learn to Hunt” day camp and a “Field Dressing and Skinning” class. Both classes were a success, with the overwhelming response being that people really enjoyed getting hands-on training and mentoring from experts on different topics.

The moral of the story is that Fish and Game wants to be a resource for you!

What you can expect in the Panhandle

Volunteer hunter education instructors along with Fish and Game staff in the Panhandle are actively scheduling classes for this spring and summer.

Below is a list of currently scheduled classes with links, along with a list of what is coming this spring and summer. You can expect this list to grow in the weeks and months ahead.

Scheduled instructor-led classes:

  • Combination Hunter and Bowhunter Education in Bonners Ferry:  March 22. Open and seats available.
  • Combination Hunter and Bowhunter Education in Athol:  April 13. Open and seats available.
  • Combination Hunter and Bowhunter Education in Priest River: June 13. Registration opens in May.

Classes headed your way soon (many to be hosted at the Farragut Shooting Range Center):

  • Hunter education: late-March or early-April
  • Intro to Handguns
  • Intro to Shotgunning
  • Women’s Intro to Shotgunning
  • Basics of Survival
  • Orienteering (Map and Compass)
  • Field Dressing and Skinning
  • How-to-hunt for (name species) 101 series

Info: idfg.idaho.gov/offices