Fish and Game offering hunter and trapper education courses

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Hunter/bowhunter education classes and trapper/wolf trapper education classes are available now in the Panhandle, and Fish and Game is encouraging those interested to sign up now.

Classes fill up quickly and become more difficult to get into when the season opens.

“Even with numerous classes scheduled, waiting to take the training may make it difficult to find a spot in a class that is compatible with your personal schedule,” said Phil Cooper, in a news release. “The classes currently have space available for you.”

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has two introductory trapper education courses available in Coeur d’Alene. One class will be held Sept. 29 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A separate, complete class will be held Sept. 30 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The classes will be held at the Idaho Fish and Game Panhandle Region office, 2885 W. Kathleen Ave. in the hunter education classrooms.

Wolf Trapper Education certification is required to trap wolves. Two wolf trapper education classes are currently posted and have spaces available. One will be held Sept. 22 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The second will be held Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Space is available, but space is limited. Registration is required. Registration can be completed on the IDFG website, fishandgame.idaho.gov, under Hunter Education, “Other Classes.” The cost for the course is $8 per registrant. Online registration requires an additional credit card convenience fee of $1.24. Registration can also be made at any IDFG office using cash, check or debit card. There is no convenience fee charged when registering at IDFG offices.

Successful completion of trapper education training will be required to purchase an Idaho trapping license for the 2018-2019 trapping season which begins July 1. The requirement can be met by certification through completion of Idaho Fish and Game’s trapper education course. Trappers who purchased an Idaho trapping license prior to 2011 are exempted from the new requirement.

Fish and Game expects the demand for classes to be very high as the July 2018 approaches.

The goal of trapper education classes is to promote safe and ethical trapping, to minimize incidents of non-target catches, and to minimize impacts of trapping activity on other recreationists.

The trapping classes teach basic trapping techniques with a strong focus on safety, trapping rules and trapping ethics. Selecting safe and responsible trap set locations is emphasized. Other topics include furbearer management, trapping laws, proper equipment, avoiding non-target catches and furbearer habitat identification.

The class is a mixture of classroom instruction and field experience. While new trappers will learn a great deal in the class, they are encouraged to have an experienced trapper serve as a mentor for a season or two when just getting started.

In 1996, The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies conducted extensive research into trapping. The organization established Best Management Practices for trapping of each species of furbearers. The purpose was to minimize conflicts among various recreationists where trapping occurs. The Association’s Best Management Practices are available by visiting, bit.ly/AFWABest

ManagementPractices and will also be presented in these classes.

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