By KIM FUNDINGSLAND
North Dakota bowhunters who wish to hunt in other states where bowhunter education is required can now take an online course to complete their bowhunter education requirements. Bowhunter education is not mandatory in North Dakota but it is in 12 states, including neighboring Montana and South Dakota, and three Canadian provinces.
"The (bowhunter-ed.com) course is North Dakota's official online bowhunter education course," said John Mazur, North Dakota Game and Fish Department hunter education coordinator. "The training is a great opportunity for new and seasoned bowhunters to learn safe practices and study information that will truly help them in the field."
Bowhunter education is required in: Alaska, Connecticut, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec.
The online course allows student to study for free. A fee is charged when they pass the course, which allows students to register for a four- to six-hour field training course which completes the bowhunter education process.
"The number of people requesting to go out of state to hunt with a bow has increased," said Chris Grondahl, NDG&F Outreach Section supervisor. "We should provide them with a way to do that. This makes a lot more sense, a standard bowhunter ed curriculum across the nation."
The online portion of bowhunter education is produced by Kalkomey, a company that has been providing print and Internet safety courses in boating, hunting, bowhunting, off-road vehicles and snowmobiles since 1995. In North Dakota, the N.D. Bowhunter's Association will be called upon to assist with field training.
"Four hours of field training, that's the hands-on portion," explained Grondahl. "The hope is that some scouts and school groups and other individuals will take it. It is information that otherwise doesn't get taught in North Dakota for archery hunters. It covers ethics, trailing, shot placement, tree stands and other specifics for bowhunters."