Are You a Safe Hunter for Life?

About Hunter Safety

I’ve taught hunter safety for the Florida Fish and Wildlife and Conservation Commission (FWC) since 2008. In the class I teach, which is the online completion class, we review safety, laws, and regulations, and significant time on nomenclature, tree stand safety, and ethical conservation practices. At the end of this 7-hour course, the students are tested with a written exam and live-fire evaluation.

No Expiration Date?

It dawned on me a little while back that the Florida Hunter Safety Certification cards have no expiration date! That means that if I certify a young person, the youngest I’ve had is age 6, that certification will be good FOREVER. All my other certifications including those I possess as an instructor, and even a driver’s license expire within three to five years. When that time rolls around, I am then required to take a written or practical exam, and sometimes both!

A Great Responsibility

After I calmed down from the shock of a person never having to show their hunting safety skills ever again, I felt a weighty burden as an instructor. I realized that every word out of my mouth should be carefully chosen, and I should pay close attention as an educator to make sure the students realize the great responsibility they have. I also have started to encourage the students to participate in other courses and programs to sharpen their skills and reinforce the safety knowledge they possess. I urge parents to take their kids out regularly and practice safe hunting and gun handling skills.

One Young Man

In one of my classes, I called up a 12-year-old young man and told him, “Bud, in 50 years you’ll be 62 and still have the same hunter safety certification that you get today, and I’ll be long gone. Make a decision now to be a safe hunter for the rest of your life.” Then he gulped and said okay.

If you’re an instructor, remember this next time you teach. If you’re a parent, always be an example of a safe, ethical hunter to your children and fellow hunters. If you’re a kid or a teen, commit while you’re young to be safe forever, and encourage others to do the same. Be safe, and take the time to enjoy the incredible privilege of hunting we’ve been given.

For more information about taking Hunter Safety in Florida from FWC, click here. If you live outside of Florida search for your state’s division of wildlife resources. Feel free to contact me for questions or comments at or by phone at 321-633-1702.





Posted: December 21, 2023

Category: 4-H & Youth, , Clubs & Volunteers, Conservation, Wildlife
Tags: FWC, Hunting, Safe Hunter, Youth

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