Hunting might not be for everyone, but for sixth graders at Hillsboro Middle School and Peabody-Burns Elementary Schools the offering of an eight-session hunter safety course elective is a popular option.
“We have 12 students taking the course this year,” said Evan Yoder, licensed instructor and Hillsboro Elementary School principal. “We meet every two weeks or whenever Hillsboro has their club activities from 2 to 3:30 p.m.”
On Friday, students met at the Peabody Country Club for a special walk-through session, part of a four-section rotation schedule for class that day.
“We had Bob McVey give a conservation talk, some trappers from Portis in Osborne County came to show us their collections of traps and furs, we had pellet gun targets and shooting, and then we had the actual hunter safety walk-through course,” Yoder said.
Deer decoys and pop-up pheasant and quail cutouts, plus a visit from Kansas Fish and Game warden Marvin Peterson made the day one to remember for those involved.
“The state really supports us in doing this,” Yoder said. “But what I like most about it is that not only do we have certified instructors, but since the kids are all the same age, they really feel free to ask questions and talk about what we are learning.”
Helping instruct the class are Len Coryea and Ann Janzen from Hillsboro.
Yoder said the final class meeting is Dec. 14, at which time the students will take a final test. If they pass the test, the students will be issued lifetime hunter safety cards, necessary to obtain hunting licenses in the future.