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Skill's Day Topics

Think S.A.F.E.

Whenever you're hunting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Hunter Safety program wants you to think S.A.F.E.

A Skill’s Day is where the student demonstrates to our volunteer instructors the skills they learned during hunter safety course.

Station 1 – Hunting Laws and Regulations

Understanding why we have hunting laws and regulations, where to find these laws and regulations, and how to read and apply them helps hunters to positively self-govern themselves while in the field. Led by an FWC Law Enforcement Officer, this station helps students see the need for hunting laws and regulations; understand how and why these laws are passed, and to understand the need to be familiar with the laws and regulations for the game and the area they are hunting.

Station 2 – Hunter Ethics and Responsibility

Obeying hunting laws helps protect resources, people and property. Poor hunting behavior is cited as the number one reason people oppose hunting. This station focuses on the student’s obligation to be responsible and present a good public image through, legal, ethical hunting practices and behaviors.

Station 3 – Safe Firearms Handling

Safe firearms handling is the most fundamental reason for hunter education. This station helps students to be safe around sporting arms by introducing them to basic hunting and shooting safety principles and practices. Students review the primary rules of firearm safety and demonstrate the safe firearm carry positions, how to safely cross obstacles, safe zones of fire, and treestand safety.

Station 4 – Clearing, Matching, Loading and Unloading

To make sure students know how to be safe around sporting arms, this station requires the student to demonstrate how to identify and clear an obstruction from the barrel of a firearm; correctly match different types of ammunition to their respective caliber or gauge, and demonstrate proper loading and unloading and use of safety mechanisms while handling five separate firearms using “dummy” ammunition.

Station 5 – Safe and Effective Shot Placement

Being able to make a safe, effective shot is one of the fundamentals of safe, responsible hunting. During this station, students must identify game animals portrayed from various angles and then determine which angles present acceptable shot opportunities. They must also identify the location of vital organs and what presents the highest probability for a quick, clean harvest. In addition, students must demonstrate the ability to make safe shot selections when presented with safe/unsafe and/or ethical/unethical shot opportunities.

Station 6 – Marksmanship

Hunter education students should be able to properly demonstrate they can safely and effectively handle a firearm before going afield. During this station, students demonstrate an understanding of safe firearms handling and rifle marksmanship through supervised live-fire exercises.

Rifle - Students demonstrate an understanding of rifle marksmanship including proper positions, sight alignment, sight picture, sight adjustment, loading, and shooting procedures/techniques.

Muzzleloading - Students demonstrate an understanding of muzzleloading firearm safety by demonstrating the proper loading procedures.

Shotgun - Students demonstrate an understanding of shotgun shooting principles including proper stance, mount, and shooting techniques/swings/leads.

Archery - Students demonstrate an understanding of archery safety by demonstrating the proper shooting technique.