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Hooks-Antlers column: Hunter education classes scheduled

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Before purchasing a hunting license in New York state, an individual must show proof of previously having a license or proof of having taken a hunter education course.

First-time hunters who are looking to take a course will have the opportunity to do so in the coming weeks as hunter education classes are scheduled for Watertown, Dexter, Lowville, Beaver River, Norfolk, Black Lake and Fowler.

Today’s column provides details on seven different classes that have openings as of this writing, but readers should note that some classes fill up quickly.

For the latest information on classes that have available openings, visit www.dec.ny.gov. Prospective students must be at least 11 years of age, and pre-registration is required.

Jefferson County Classes

The Watertown Sportsman’s Club will host a Hunter Education Course on April 7 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is a home study class that requires students to complete five hours of homework before the actual class. Mark Houghtaling is the instructor, and students must pre-register at 785-2533.

Jim Gould is the instructor for a course on April 25-27. The Thursday and Friday sessions will be at the Dexter American Legion from 6-9 p.m. while the Saturday class will take place at the Brownville Fish and Game Club from 9 a.m. until finished. Students must attend all three classes for certification, and pre-registration is required by calling 785-2533.

Lewis County Classes

The Lowville Fish and Game Club (Number Four Road) is hosting a Hunter Education Course on March 30 from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. This is a home study course that requires five hours of homework before the field session. ECO John Murphy is the instructor, and students must pre-register by March 22 at 542-4293.

Beaver River Fish and Game Club will be the site of a course on April 13, running from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but since it is a home study course, five hours of homework is required before the field session. Todd Buckingham is the instructor, and students must pre-register with Todd or Chad at Buckingham Hardware Store in Croghan.

St. Lawrence County Classes

The Norfolk Rod and Gun Club on Depot Street will host a Hunter Education Course on April 13 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Since this is a home study class, the five hours of homework is required before the field session. Nathan Dold is the instructor, and prospective students must pre-register by calling 386-3946 or by emailing winchester58@hotmail.com.

Bob Merrifield is the instructor for a course at the clubhouse of the Black Lake Fish and Game Association in Morristown. Five hours of homework are required for this home study class that will meet on April 20 from 8 a.m. until finished. Interested students must pre-register by Friday by calling 344-4017 after 5 p.m.

The Fowler Baptist Church on Balmat-Fowler Road will be the site of a traditional Hunter Education Course on April 26-27. The Friday session runs from 6-10 p.m., while the Saturday class extends from 8 a.m. until finished, and students must attend both sessions. Bill Foote is the instructor, and student must pre-register by calling Bobbi at 287-9398.

NATIONAL WILD TURKEY

The Borderline Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is holding its 13th annual Fund Raising Banquet on March 24 at the Massena Elks Club, 20 Bowers St.

Proceeds from the event are used to support wild turkey restoration and conservation in New York state and nationally. Among the events activities are gun drawings, silent auctions, and live auctions. Included in the live auctioning is a father-child, three-day fully guided turkey hunt at Full Fan Lodge in Pennsylvania. The hunt, which includes all meals and lodging, has a $1,300 value.

For more information, contact Jeff Root at 769-8028 or at aroot@twcny.rr.com.

Outdoors Calendar

Tuesday: Federated Sportsmen’s Clubs of SLC meet at Canton BOCES.

Friday: Seasons close for Northern Pike and Walleyes in NYS waters.

Friday: Ice shanties must be removed from NYS waters.

Sunday: Seasons close for Cottontail Rabbits and Snowshoe Hares.

March 22-24: Great Outdoor Family Expo at Watertown Fairgrounds YMCA.

March 24: Borderline Longbeards Chapter of NWTF hosts 13th annual Fund Raising Banquet (769-8028).

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