Angelina College hosted a Hunter Education Class designed to help students attain their hunting license last week in the Community Services Building.
“This class preps them for the Hunter Education Certification through the Parks and Wildlife,” said Esther Campbell, manager of workforce and continuing education. “This afternoon, they’ll take the test, and then they’ll get their certificate.”
The certification is required to obtain a hunting license and is recognized nationally. Texas Mutual provided a safety grant to reduce the cost of this class to $5.
“We wanted to offer safety classes to the community, and this is a great one because we have such a large hunting community,” Campbell said. “We’ve had a great demand for it, so we’ll teach it again next year.”
Eleven-year-old Anora Page and her 9-year-old brother Harrison attended the class together. Anora said she and her brothers hunt a lot with their families, and it was time to take the class.
“I like hunting with my family,” she said. “It’s fun.”
Sixteen-year-old Madison Briley said she and her dad go hunting together a lot, but it was time for her to get her own stand.
“It gets pretty cramped, especially in a tree stand,” Madison said. “I like hunting because usually if you don’t see anything, it’s peaceful, and if not and you actually do get something, the meat’s good. We use any bit of it that we can.”
Officer Mark Emmons taught the class. He covered laws, ethics and the paperwork needed to understand hunting in Texas. One subject was tagging a deer.
Certain animals need to be tagged, and the tag needs to be completed and secured to the animal immediately after the kill, Emmons said. Hunters should cut out the month and day and write the ranch and county in pen on the tag.
He also reminded the students that Texas game wardens have more authority than they might think. He told them a story of someone he knew who didn’t stop for a game warden who was trying to pull him over for speeding because he didn’t think game wardens had that authority.
“Texas Game Wardens are certified state peace officers,” Emmons said. “Their priority is the enforcement of all hunting and fishing laws and regulations, but they can do other things. Anywhere in the state of Texas, they have authority.”
Emmons also stressed some ethical hunting practices — making a quick, clean kill; minimizing pain and suffering; not wasting meat; following game laws and regulations; handling firearms safely and insisting others do, too; and leaving the land better than you find it.
“Remember this phrase here: Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching, even when doing the wrong thing is legal — Aldo Leopold,” Emmons said. “If it’s right, it’s right.”
For more information about programs like these offered at Angelina College, visit angelina.edu/com-serv.