Hunter education certification cards can be obtained three different ways from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Hunter Education Program. The free hunter education course is mandatory for anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1969, who plans on purchasing a hunting license.
The traditional standard hunter education course is taught in a classroom setting by an LDWF hunter education instructor. The standard course usually takes place over a two or three-day window and includes an actual hands-on skeet shoot. In 2003, 18,651 students participated in the standard course with 17,577 in 2004 and 13,611 last year.
"There are still people who would rather take the standard course by a qualified hunter education instructor," said LDWF's Hunter Education Program Manager John Sturgis. "The reduction in students last year could probably be attributed to the hurricanes, since they occurred during our busiest time of the year right before hunting season."
Developed in 2003 by the Southeast Hunter Education Coordinators, the home study hunter education program has certified over 1,500 hunters. The home study program can be taken over the Internet at LDWF's Web site or by requesting a CD-Rom from LDWF. Both home study programs use the exact same content.
At the end of the home study program, the course will administer a test and prompt the student to print a report. A passing score for the test is 75 percent. The student must then sign the report and bring it to a scheduled field day.
The field day consists of one day with hands on activities such as a skeet shoot and written test.
"The home study course was created to offer an alternative method to access hunter education," said Sturgis. "It has become difficult with current work schedules to attend traditional standard courses. Plus, some people like to be self taught and would prefer to take the course in the convenience of their own home."
The curriculum for all course types includes sections on ethics and responsibility, wildlife management, firearms and ammunition, safety in the field, wildlife identification and wildlife conservation. The major objectives of the hunter education programs are to reduce the number of hunting accidents, improve the image of hunting through ethical and responsible conduct and promote the shooting sports.
Standard course listings and field day schedules can be obtained by visiting LDWF's Web site at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/education/  or by calling 225-765-2920. Registration may be required for some course listings and field days.
For more information, contact John Sturgis at 225-763-5448 or firstname.lastname@example.org .