Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hunting Safety -- Irked Granddad

For my 70th birthday last month I bought myself a brand new Ruger American Rifle.  I also decided I'd go hunting next year, so I went online to buy a California hunting license.  Then I discovered to purchase a license I'm required to show evidence of an Annual California Hunting License issued in any prior year or provide a California certificate of hunter education completion.

I did take a hunter safety course to get my first hunting license in 1957, and I had a hunting license almost every year between 1957 and 1989, but I didn't keep any of them.  I was irked!  I'm going to have to take a hunter safety course to go hunting again.  I made my peace with the program and signed up for an online course.  Then the problems started.  The $25 online course didn't include a field requirement.  I'd had to find that elsewhere.  

Finding someone in the Los Angeles area that could sign off on the field requirement was next to impossible.  After a lot of online searching and a phone call to the department of fish and game I discovered a fellow offers a complete hunter safety course at a local gun range.  In order to signup for his class I had to make a 40 mile drive just to make a cash deposit for the class.  I was also required to purchase a blaze orange vest for his class.  Before I am even eligible to purchase a $45 license I will have spent $100 to learn about firearm safety.

Shooting my muzzle-loader - Wyoming 1988

I'm not suggesting I can't learn some new things, or that hunter safety isn't really important.  But, after all -- I spent a few years doing cowboy mounted shooting, three years in the US Army (Special Forces), and I have hunted deer, bear, ducks, pheasant, quail, doves and grouse in several states -- so it irks me to have to go back to school to do what I've done for half of my life.

I'm working on a positive attitude, and trying to follow the example of my childhood heroes.  All I can say is, "It's a good thing the California DFG isn't involved in cowboy mounted shooting."

Happy Trails

Follow up...

I took the class and I admit I learned a lot.  With 20/20 hind sight I'm glad I took the class which I passed with 99%.

Happy hunting.

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