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Wisconsin DNR wants hunters to register now for fall hunter education course

Wisconsin hunters planning for the late-year seasons should register now for required hunter education certificate courses to avoid being sidelined due to lack of planning, according to officials with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

"Nearly all of the volunteer hunter education instructors are hunters themselves and enjoy hunting in the fall," said Tim Lawhern, a DNR conservation warden, who also serves as the state's hunting education administrator.

"The hunter education program offers about 1,200 courses every year, but very few of them are offered from October through December," he added.

Every year Lawhern fields calls two weeks before the gun-deer season with hunter-hopefuls looking to fulfill the mandatory hunter education course.

"More than 99 percent of our courses have already been offered well before the gun-deer season," he said.

Anyone born on or after Jan.1, 1973, must have completed a hunter education course and show the certificate to purchase any hunting license in Wisconsin.

To find a course, visit the DNR Web page, []. Look under the heading of Recreational Safety Course - Upcoming Classes. If unsuccessful, check back as courses are added to the listing as instructors alert the DNR.

"In Wisconsin, we've reduced hunting accidents by 90 percent since the program began," Lawhern said.

"Hunting is safe, and getting safer, because of the volunteer instructors who teach hunter education and the number of our hunters who have now graduated from our courses. Sign up now while courses are being offered in your area," he added.