New Mexico Game and Fish has announced its schedule of Hunter Education Classes for Magdalena and Socorro.
In Magdalena, the class will be taught by Marshal Larry Cearley.
Cearley has been teaching the hunter’s safety course for 17 years.
“It’s mainly about being safe when handling weapons,” Cearley said. “Other skills like first aid, some survival guidelines and GPS tracking will be covered.”
He said attendees will also learn all Game and Fish laws, including which game is in season at any given time, the costs of permits and licenses, and awareness of trespassing violations.
“We do instruction but also have a proficiency test on handling weapons,” Cearley said. “For instance, being aware of what is behind your target, what you’re shooting at. Another is how to cross fences. When you come to a fence you unload your gun, lay it down on the other side of the fence. Some hunters take off their hat and lay their gun on it. Then cross the fence and retrieve your gun.”
He said students will also be tested on muzzle control. “Where the end of the barrel is pointing.
“You cannot rely on the safety. It’s a mechanical lever, and it can fail,” Cearley said. “There was one hunter who had the safety on while crossing a fence with his gun. The safety failed and the muzzle was pointing at his chin. He slipped and the gun went off and killed him.”
He said the best advice is to “keep your gun unloaded until you’re ready to shoot.”
Other skills taught, include where to place your shot; and wildlife and waterfowl identification.
“We work one-on-one with students, and they get hands on help,” Cearley said. “We make sure they understand everything. The course is 12 hours. We give them 14 hours.
“Once they finish, they get a hunter’s certificate and ID card.”
Classes are limited to 20 students.
Those wishing to attend the Socorro class must register by Thursday, Feb. 9.
For Magdalena, the registration period is Feb. 6 through Feb. 23.
Students must register online at New Mexico Game & Fish Website by the date listed for each location.
Once accepted, students must be on time, attend all portions of the class, be ready to learn and participate, have completed homework before class begins, and pass the proficiency test with 75 percent and a written test with 70 percent.
Students under 11 years of age must have a parent/guardian in class.
In Socorro, the classes will be at the County Fairground the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 25-26, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration for the Socorro class must be done by Thursday, Feb. 9. Contact Andrew at 575-835-8911 with any questions.
In Magdalena, the clasess will be held at Magdalena Schools on Friday, Mar. 9 from 6-8 p.m.; Saturday, Mar. 10 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, Mar. 11 from 8 a.m. to noon.March 9-11.
Magdalena registration must be completed by Thursday, Feb. 23.
Contact Larry at 505-239-5181 or 575-854-3117 with any questions.