Community members have the opportunity to participate in a free hunter's education course this weekend through S7 Tactical and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Instructor John Driggers, along with other certified trainers, will lead the two-day, 10-hour course, which will be from 5-10 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Driggers said the AGFC will provide booklets for the course, that are designed to educate participants on a broad range of hunting safety.
“A lot of it is hunter’s ethics and morals,” he said. “The No. 1 goal of hunter education is to make hunters safe.”
Driggers, who told the Log Cabin Democrat that he’s been doing hunter education since 2006, said that in addition to hunting safety, they will also discuss a bit of survival skills, preparedness and the importance of wildlife conservation.
Included in that, he said, is the rule of fair chase: to hunt in a fair, sporting manner regarding what and when not to shoot, no poaching, no illegal traps and more — hunting in a proper way that is fair to the animals.
During the course, Driggers said, there will be hands-on demonstrations, with unloaded firearms and other weapons and tools including bows and more.
“Firearm safety is one of the biggest things kids and adults who take the class will walk away from,” he said.
Driggers said that aspect, knowing that these items are tools to be respected and used responsibly, is something they truly hone in on and how important it is to know each’s functions and how easily it is to fail, especially if mishandled.
“Really drive those points home in the class,” he said.
Driggers said they will also talk about tree-stand safety.
“Most hunting accidents occur when you’re climbing in and out of the stand,” he said.
Driggers, who has spent his whole life involved with hunting — he took an education class back when he was a child — and passed it down to his children, said that most of the stuff he’ll be teaching this weekend is stuff that is common sense, but a lot of it he learned through experience and talking with other hunters.
“I think it’s important to give that back,” he said.
Driggers said it’s important for those interested in signing up and attending — so far he’s talked to about 40 people who have shown interest — to know that it is a two-day course that has to be attended; at the end there will also be a 50-question test that each participant will have to take.
In addition, he said, he recommends only those 10 and up who are able to read on a fifth-grade reading level attend the course.
Registration will be the first day of the event at the Ministry Center, 766 Harkrider St. in Conway.