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Hunting in Minnesota: Are Safety Courses Required to Hunt in Minnesota? How Do I Pass Classes?

By    |   Wednesday, 27 May 2015 09:04 PM

Hunting in Minnesota does not come without risk. Hunters are often exposed to wet and cold weather and are handling weapons like knives, arrows and firearms. Major accidents on hunting trips are far too common. Accidental shootings, animal attacks, drowning, hypothermia, injuries from falls and getting lost are just some of the potential dangers facing hunters in the wild.

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Taking a hunter education course is mandatory for hunting in Minnesota. When a hunter successfully passes the course, they are issued a firearms safety certificate. Without such a certificate, hunters aged 13 and older cannot hunt in Minnesota. 

Firearm Safety Classes

Youth aged 11 and older must enroll a mandatory firearms safety certification course to receive their certificate. It becomes valid at age 12. DNR Firearms Certification is required for any hunter age 25 or younger before they can purchase a Minnesota hunting license.
Each firearm safety course consists of a minimum of 12 hours of combined classroom and field experience. Students are taught how to handle firearms safely and other safe hunting practices. Each student participates in a live fire exercise at a firing range to apply safety skills to real-life shooting.

Basic Rules of Handling Firearms

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Each student enrolled in a firearm safety class is taught three principles for handling a firearm:
  • Treat each firearm as if it is loaded;
  • Always control the muzzle of your firearm;
  • Be aware of your target and what lies beyond your target.
A student passes the course only when they demonstrate proficiency in safely handling firearms.

Class Options

Firearms Safety Certification can be completed using one of four options:
  • Enrolling in an online course and virtual field day. This is option is open to only Minnesota residents.
  • Doing independent study. A volunteer instructor can provide a guide and workbook and test a prospective hunter once workbook is finished.
  • Enrolling in a firearms safety classroom course.
  • Earning Apprentice Hunter Validation. This option can only be used twice in a lifetime.
The Minnesota DNR offers spring classes from February through June and fall classes from July through October each calendar year.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Hunting in Minnesota does not come without risk. Hunters are often exposed to wet and cold weather and are handling weapons like knives, arrows and firearms. Major accidents on hunting trips are far too common.
hunting, minnesota, safety, courses
391
2015-04-27
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 09:04 PM
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