Rhode Island Hunting
By Scott Travers, Technical Assistant & Hunter Education Instructor
I have been a hunter education instructor for over ten years. At the end of many of my classes, students approach me and ask for more information about various topics. Some will ask to know more about how firearms work because they have never held one. Some will express concern about getting lost because they are not confident walking through the woods, or have never done so before. Traditionally, people who were new to hunting had mentors; friends or family who helped them develop their skills over time. Today, that is simply not the case for many new hunters.
In order to help new hunters who may not have mentors, and to help provide more knowledge to seasoned hunters, the hunter education program, in partnership with several volunteers and volunteer organizations, has started offering workshops that address various aspects of hunting. The workshops are informational and are not for certification purposes, however, they do offer a fantastic opportunity to learn more about specific topics that new hunters and non-hunters alike may be interested in.
One of the first of these workshops focused on trapping in Rhode Island. The hunter education program partnered with the RI Trapping Association to provide a one-day informational opportunity for people who were curious about trapping and tanning hides. In the morning, RI Wildlife Biologist Charles Brown provided the history of Rhode Island’s fur trade, as well as anatomy of target species. In the afternoon, members of the RI Trapping Association demonstrated how to set various traps and skinned three target species; a beaver, a mink, and a fisher, to show how to properly handle the animals.
Since that workshop, the Hunter Education Office has offered many other programs focusing on the various aspects of hunting and outdoor skills. Going forward, each month the hunter education office will offer a workshop on a specialty topic, along with the standard hunter education and bow hunter education courses which have always been offered.
The courses offered for 2016-2017 will include wild game cooking, wilderness first aid, turkey hunting, ground blind construction, land navigation (map and compass), land navigation (GPS), firearms familiarization, archery, whitetail deer hunting, youth pheasant hunting, youth waterfowl hunting, trapping, and deer processing.
It is the goal of the hunter education department to keep programs interesting and relevant to the RI hunter in order to make us all more informed and safer in the outdoors.
Please contact Scott Travers at firstname.lastname@example.org if you or someone you know would like more information about any of these courses or to see a workshop offered on a topic that you do not see.