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IDNR Salutes Hunting Safety Instructors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACTS:
Chris Young
217-557-1240
IDNR Salutes Hunting Safety Instructors
There Were No Fatal Hunting Accidents in 2013; Safety Education Key to Development of Safe and Ethical Hunting Practices
SPRINGFIELD, IL � As fall hunting seasons get underway, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recognizes the contributions of volunteers who teach new hunters proper safety and ethics each year. IDNR Hunter Safety Education classes certified 20,211 hunters in 2013, the second highest total on record.  In 2002, instructors certified 21,658 hunters.  Safety education classes have been held since 1976, when 14,170 hunters were certified.

�Volunteer instructors are the backbone of the program,� said Jeff Hopkins, IDNR Safety Education Administrator. �They give of themselves to ensure that the public and new hunters receive the information they need to be safe.�

IDNR is fortunate to have more than 1,000 dedicated instructors offering classes statewide. Fifty-three of those volunteer instructors have 35 years or more of experience teaching hunter safety classes.

�Young hunters are our future, and we are fortunate to have a large number of instructors with many years of service willing to pass on that valuable experience,� said IDNR Director Marc Miller. �These volunteers are a key component that helps us provide safe hunting opportunities, especially for young hunters.�

The Illinois Hunter Education Program consists of a minimum of 10 hours of instruction. These courses cover the basics of hunter responsibility, firearms and ammunition, tree stand safety, field safety, wildlife conservation, management and identification, first aid, archery, muzzleloading, and state regulations. Visit: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/safety/Pages/HunterSafety.aspx

The IDNR Safety Education Program manages a statewide network of certified volunteer instructors who conduct courses in the topics of hunting, boating, trapping and snowmobiling safety.  These courses are focused on educating youth and parents on safe, ethical and responsible participation in their chosen field of recreation.

IDNR encourages all hunters to practice safety this fall.  There were no fatal hunting accidents in Illinois in 2013. There were 26 accidents reported in 2013 with 10 involving the discharge of a firearm and 16 accidents related to falls.  Summaries of hunting incidents for the past four years can be found here: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/safety/Pages/IncidentReportSummaries.aspx.
 
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