MDC invites new hunters to complete hunter education at Runge Nature Center

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Prepare for this year’s fall hunting season with hunter education skills sessions at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Runge Nature Center.

Missouri’s Wildlife Code requires anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1967, or any person age 11 – 15 who hunts alone, to complete the Hunter Education Course in order to purchase a firearm hunting permit.

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt. Hunter education helps make it a safe place to hunt. Since becoming mandatory in 1987, hunter education has reduced hunting incidents and deaths in the state by more than 70 percent.

MDC provides several ways to become hunter-education certified. The course is divided into a knowledge portion, and a skills portion, which includes an exam. Both the knowledge and skills portions must be completed to become certified.

Prospective hunters can complete the knowledge portion of the course by taking a class in person, online, or completing a self-study guide. Find more information on options for completing this portion of hunter education here:  

MDC will offer the following Hunter Education Skills Sessions at Runge Nature Center:

  • Saturday, Sept. 9, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 28, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 14, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

These skills sessions include hands-on safety demonstrations, and a final exam. Participants must register to attend. Space is limited, and classes generally fill quickly, so early registration is encouraged. To register for one of these Hunter Education Skills Sessions, call Runge Conservation Nature Center at (573) 526-5544. The nature center is located at 330 Commerce Drive in Jefferson City.

Before registering for a skills session, individuals must first complete part one online, through self-study, or by attending a classroom session. To attend the skills session, they must bring their skills session qualifier certificate or a student manual with their completed review questions. Hunter education student manuals are available everywhere hunting permits are sold.  Manuals are also available by mail.

Students must be at least 11 years of age at the start of the class and those 15 and under must provide proof of age. Students are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before the beginning of the skills session to make time for registration.

Missouri’s Hunter Education Program provides a foundation in hunting safety and ethics. It instills responsibility, improves skills and knowledge, and encourages interaction between beginner and veteran hunters. Missouri hunter education includes information on how firearms work and firearm safety, wildlife identification, game care, survival and first-aid skills, hunting techniques, awareness about wildlife conservation and management and rules and information unique to hunting in Missouri.