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Bowhunting on the rise

A new initiative from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has almost doubled the number of students certified in bowhunter education this year. For the first time ever, bowhunter education was incorporated into the regular weekly sessions at the department's Green Mountain Conservation Camps. This meant 588 students left the camps with a hunter education orange card and bowhunter education yellow card in their pockets. Before this year, bowhunter education was only available at the advanced camp sessions for returning campers. Like hunter education, bowhunter education is mandatory in Vermont, and certification is required to buy an archery license. In the previous fiscal year, 758 hunters received their bowhunter certification, mostly from traditional courses in their communities. Fully incorporating bowhunter education into the camp curriculum is part of a much larger effort to increase the accessibility of bowhunter education in the state, said Mark Scott, education manager. In the last four years, we have gradually, yet significantly increased the number of bowhunter education instructors, courses and certified students. Much of the credit for the increase goes to the 149 active volunteer instructors. They put in thousands of hours of their valuable time to ensure bowhunting remains safe and responsible. This year, due to targeted recruitment in areas with course need, the program certified an additional 37 instructors, a program record. The Vermont Hunter Education program is always looking for experienced hunters to pass on the tradition of hunting safely and responsibility to the next generation. If you are interested in assisting the department in this rewarding volunteer activity, please call 802-241-3720 for more information on becoming an instructor. If you want a bowhunter certificate, the easiest way to find an open class listed at www.vtfishandwildlife.com or telephone the hunter education office at 802-241-3720.

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