While friends and family spend time afield during the holiday season, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Hunter Safety program wants all hunters to think SAFE.
A Skill’s Day is where the student demonstrates to our volunteer instructors the skills they learned during hunter safety course.
Overview of the Six Learning Stations
Station 1 – Hunting Laws and Regulations
Understanding why we have hunting laws and regulations, where to find these laws and regulations, and how to read and apply them helps hunters to positively self-govern themselves while in the field. Lead by an FWC Law Enforcement Officer, this station helps students see the need for hunting laws and regulations; understand how and why these laws are passed, and to understand the need to be familiar with the laws and regulations for the game and the area they are hunting.
Station 2 – Hunter Ethics and Responsibility
Obeying hunting laws helps protect resources, people and property. Poor hunting behavior is cited as the number one reason people oppose hunting. This station focuses on the student’s obligation to be responsible and present a good public image through, legal, ethical hunting practices and behaviors.
Station 3 – Safe Firearms Handling
Safe firearms handling is the most fundamental reason for hunter education. This station helps students to be safe around sporting arms by introducing students to basic hunting and shooting safety principles and practices. Students review the primary rules of firearm safety and demonstrate the safe firearm carry positions, how to safely cross obstacles, safe zones of fire and treestand safety.
Station 4 – Clearing, Matching, Loading and Unloading
To make sure students know how to be safe around sporting arms, this station requires the student to demonstrate how to identify and clear an obstruction from the barrel of a firearm; correctly match different types of ammunition to their respective caliber or gauge, and demonstrate proper loading and unloading and use of safety mechanisms while handling five separate firearms using “dummy” ammunition.
Station 5 – Safe and Effective Shot Placement
Being able to make a safe, effective shot is one of the fundamentals of safe, responsible hunting. During this station, students must identify game animals portrayed from various angles which present acceptable shot opportunities and identify the locations of vital organs that presents the highest probability for a quick, clean harvest. Students must also demonstrate the ability to make safe shot selections when presented with safe/unsafe and/or ethical/unethical shot opportunities.
Station 6 – Marksmanship
Hunter education students should be able to properly demonstrate that they can safely and effectively handle a firearm before going afield. During this station, students demonstrate an understanding of safe firearms handling and rifle marksmanship through the live-firearm of a firearm.
Rifle - Students demonstrate an understanding of rifle marksmanship including proper positions, sight alignment, sight picture, sight adjustment, loading and shooting procedures/techniques.
Muzzleloading - Students demonstrate an understanding of muzzleloading firearm safety by demonstrating the proper loading procedures.
Shotgun - Students demonstrate an understanding of shotgun shooting principles including proper stance, mount and shooting techniques/swings/leads.
Archery - Students demonstrate an understanding of archery safety by demonstrating the proper shooting technique.