Archive for the 'Hunter Education' Category

Learning to Hunt

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
Hunter Education

Steve Hall teaching a Hunter Education Class

This is Passport to Texas

For many, hunting is learned as a family tradition, passed down from elders to future generations. But if hunting wasn’t shared among your friends and family, and you want to hunt, how do you learn?

To start hunting you really have to find a mentor.

Steve Hall is the Hunter Education Coordinator at Texas Parks and Wildlife.

We’re actually starting some mentor hunts and those are probably the best way to learn about hunting, especially if you’re an adult.

Another good first step is taking a hunter education course. Hunters 17 years of age or older can take an online-only course at the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The hunter education course will teach you the basics on safety, responsibility. Everything from transportation to field considerations. But also things like hunter ethics, wildlife conservation and the hunter’s role in wildlife management.

Hunters under 17 years of age can take instructor-led courses to learn how to hunt safely, legally, and ethically, then sign up for a Texas Youth Hunting Program youth hunt. To find out more visit

We record our series at The Block House in Austin. Joel Block engineers our show.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Hunter Readiness: Preparing for the Season

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
Hunter education with Steve Hall

Hunter Education Class: TPWD employee Joshua Ndegwa takes shooting instructions form Hunter Education Coordinator Steve Hall.

This is Passport to Texas

Deer season is fast approaching, and hunter readiness is key to experiencing a safe and successful hunt.

Preparation, Practice and Planning for that upcoming hunt.

Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Hunter Education Coordinator Steve Hall.

The practice is the big one. I think that in our busy world we just don’t seem to carve out that time. But you can join clubs, you can join shoots like archery shoots or clubs like long-distance rifle shooting to kind of keep your skills honed.

Another way for veteran hunters to sharpen their skills is to become hunter education instructors, giving their knowledge and skills to young hunters. The number one citation written during hunting season is not having a hunter education course, required for anyone born on or before September 2, 1971. Educated hunters understand safety is paramount. Even so, Steve says hunters should be mindful of the most common mishaps.

Even though hunting is safe and getting safer, remember the three top hunting incidents. One is careless handling in and around vehicles. Number two is swinging on game outside of a safe zone of fire, and number three is being sure of your target, what is font of and beyond it.

Have a successful and safe hunting season and remember to share your knowledge with new hunters. That’s how we keep the tradition alive.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Avoid this Violation in the Field

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

Texas Hunter Education certificate. Never go hunting without it.

This is Passport to Texas

What’s the most frequent violation Texas Game Warden encounter in the field?

That’s hunter education and it’s a preventable one.

Aaron Sims is a Texas game warden.

That’s something that’s been mandatory for a long time now.

The 70th Texas Legislature made hunter education a requirement in 1987. Hunters born on or after Sept. 2, 1971 must successfully complete the course.

“I know how to use guns. I’ve been shooting them all my life. Why do I have to go through another class?” And I’ll tell them that’s a very small portion of the hunter education class. The other part is why it’s important. Why we have these laws. Conservation, ethics; something that might not be unlawful may be unethical. We have to have respect for the animals when it comes to hunting or fishing.

The Hunter Education program strives to produce safe, responsible, knowledgeable and involved hunters.

All we want is for them to get compliant. Take the class, learn the good information and pass it along to your children. If an adult is already certified and they have a young son or daughter that wants to go through it. We always encourage them. If you would like to go sit through the class with them and learn with them and maybe they can ask you questions because its more comfortable. We definitely encourage parents to attend classes with their children

Find hunter education information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Mentored Hunts for Adults

Thursday, August 1st, 2019

Ralston Dorn [background] on mentored hunt.

Ralston Dorn [background] on mentored hunt.

This is Passport to Texas

Interested in hunting but don’t have hunters as friends or family to guide you? Some state parks and wildlife management areas conduct mentored hunting workshops for first-time adult hunters. The program is designed to educate and introduce beginners to the hunting experience.

For the last twenty-one years, no one in my immediate family has ever hunted.

Ralston Dorn is a Dallas paramedic and enthusiastic new hunter

I want to break that cycle. So, I found this through Parks and Wildlife and signed up for it.

Justin Dreibelbis is Ralston’s mentor for the day.

This is an opportunity to come out and, take part in a hunt, learn from experienced hunters and, take skills back to their friends and families so they can go hunting.

[ Ralston] Before taking the shot my adrenaline started pumping. I told Justin, my heart is racing. And, he goes alright slow down.

 [Justin] She’s broadside. When you’ve got a good shot, take it

[Rifle shot / Justin] Good shot, man. Great shot.

[Ralston] Had I gone hunting with my uncle, I’m sure I could have gotten a deer but, I don’t think I would have learned nearly as much after the shot, or before the shot, as I did here it.

Learn more about mentored hunting workshops on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Safe Zone of Fire

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019
Illustrating a safe zone of fire.

Illustrating a safe zone of fire.

This is Passport to Texas

Before you discharge a firearm, ask yourself: what is my safe zone of fire? Not knowing can have devastating consequences. But how do you determine your safe zone?

It’s easy to find your safe zone of fire.

Heidi Rao is a Hunter Education Specialist for Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Start by focusing on an object ahead of you like a tree, hold your thumbs up and slowly bring them to the side of your body until your thumbs disappear from your vision. This is about a 45-degree angle and the area where you can safely take a shot. This is your safe zone of fire.

If you’re hunting with other people, never swing outside of your 45-degree safe zone of fire.

Another thing to think about is to be aware of is target fixation. When a bird flushes, you could easily forget about your surroundings and your safe zone of fire. If you’re excited and only focusing on your target, you can quickly lose track of your safe shooting zone. You can even lose sight of buildings and roadways. This is very dangerous.

Remember: firearm safety is your responsibility.

So, always be aware of your safe zone of fire, even when you’re excited.

View our hunter education video on Safe Zone of Fire, on the Texas Parks and Wildlife YouTube channel; just search Safe Zone of Fire.

Our show receives support from the Wildlife Restoration Program.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.