Hunting education course teaches safety

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ARDMORE, OK - Saturday the Noble Foundation held its annual hunting education course.

Dozens of aspiring hunters filled the SOTC lecture hall to take advantage of the free training.

Hope Wentzel was one of them.

"I have never actually gone hunting but I've always really, really wanted to," said Wentzel. "A lot of my family hunts."

She said the class was right on target for what she wanted to learn. Instructors trained people how to properly handle a firearm, taught survival skills and tree stand safety, which is a subject that Russell Stevens, a Noble Foundation wildlife consultant, said many people forget about.

"The odds are increased that they may fall and break a limb or severely injure themselves in other ways," said Stevens.

Stevens said 90 hunters registered for the class that's required in Oklahoma for all hunters under 31 years old.

The course lasts from 8 to 5 and ends with a 50 question test.

"Once they pass their test they get their hunters certificate card here, handed to them when they walk out the door," said Stevens.

But Stevens said that's not what the class is really about.

"Again, it's to create an awareness, it's not really to give them a false security that they're safe in the woods," he said.

Wentzel plans on taking that awareness with her when she steps out into the wilderness.

"I would really love to hunt pheasant," she said. "That's what my dad always hunted, and I'd really love to get to go with him."

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