By Courtney Zwicker
An online hunting course released last week by the Department of Natural Resources hopes to encourage more Nova Scotians to get their hunting license.
“We’re losing our hunter population and not that this will bring them all back to hunting, but we’re hoping some of the features will interest them enough that they may get in here and get playing with it,” said Judy Clattenburg, hunting education coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources.
Before the online course was released, hunters were required to study a manual and travel to their local Department of Natural Resources to take the test in person.
The online course includes an audio option for learning, interactive tools and illustrations to help with studying.
To be eligible to take the online test, the hunter must complete the federally issued Canadian Fire Arms Safety Course administered by the Department of Justice. This can be written at any Nova Scotia community college.
As someone goes through the course, there are quizzes that evaluate what they have learned. The computer records all the answers, and when all quizzes are passed the hunter can print off their certificate of completion.
The hunter will then take the certificate to their local Department of Natural Resources and present it in order write the final exam for licensing.
“This online course delivers a better education in a more accessible way,” said Charlie Parker, Minister of Natural Resources.
The project started after the company ,Huntercourse.com, designed a cross bow course for the Department of Natural Resources in 2009. When the department saw that there was a hunter course available, they decided they wanted to offer one too.
|Hunter Education Course|
“Once we saw the course and saw the perks and the pluses that went with it we were quite impressed,” Clattenburg said.
The online course did not take long to develop because it was already available in other provinces. All the course needed was to be adjusted to include Nova Scotia’s specific hunting requirements.
Greg Gulliver of Huntercourse.com says the exam takes on average three and a half hours to complete.
The price for the course is $25. It’s open to ages 14 and up.
There are currently more than 92 000 eligible hunters in Nova Scotia.
Judy Clattenburg talks about the benefits of using the online hunting course.