Back in early October, I had the pleasure of leading a hike for a group of visitors from Europe. My guests were from both Germany and Switzerland, and this was to be their first hiking trip in the Adirondacks.
We decided on taking a rather easy climb, as the weather appeared questionable and the group was still adjusting to the time change.
It was a bright October morning as we departed the lodge, and piled into my truck. However, the sky gradually grew darker as the day wore on.
While driving to the trailhead, we passed numerous vehicle loaded with hunters, and eventually the conversation turned to the topic of hunting.
“It appears everyone is allowed to hunt in this country, are they not?” asked one of my guests.
“If they’re of age”, I responded, “And they have achieved a Hunting Safety Certificate. We have vast public lands, as well as extensive private lands available for hunting. Most private properties are reserved for the landowners, however some properties offer leases to hunting clubs.”
“I see”, he remarked. “I’m curious to know how much study is required of the hunter, before they are allowed to hunt?”
“Not a lot”, I replied, “I believe a majority of the hunters who take a Hunter Safety Training Course, receive a certificate.”
“Remarkable!” he remarked, before asking, “And how soon before they are allowed to go on the hunt? ”
“As soon as they leave the classroom.” I explained, “Unless they are under sixteen and too young, which requires they hunt with another licensed hunter.”
He appeared astounded, as he revealed, “It is not so easy in Germany! “Hunters must know their animals very well, as well as the lands they travel. They must also know their equipment, and how to shoot proficiently.”
Most applicants spend a year studying for their license, and about half of them fail their first exam. In fact, even the owners of private parks are required to study in order to hunt on their own land.”
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at email@example.com.