Hunters Education/NDGF

NDGF Hunter Ed coordinator Brian Schaffer (left) and  Darren Becker (right) conduct hunter safety courses for more than 3,500 students in a pandemic year. NDGF photo

 A year ago, the pandemic created a unique set of circumstances for the North Dakota hunter education program. With a goal of training safe hunters, the Game and Fish Department and hundreds of volunteer instructors were faced with a challenge – providing the necessary coursework and gun safety while adhering to safety protocols.

 Brian Schaffer is the department's hunter education coordinator and explains how the transition evolved: “We developed and modified our home study courses, which are traditionally in-person for the first class for firearm handling and North Dakota specific content. We were able to include that in our online learning. Students were able to complete the 10 to 13 hours of online instruction at home and then finish later. To meet the requirements and not compromise safety, the department offered over 100 in-person testing opportunities across the state, which included the written and practical exam.”

Read the full story in your Times-Record Weekend Edition, Feb. 19-21. Purchase your paper copy of today’s paper at the TR office (146 3rd St NE, Valley City), local gas stations and grocery stores or an electronic copy by clicking subscribe in the top left corner of the home page.

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