OUTAGAMIE COUNTY - Safety was the rule of the day for more than 100 perspective hunters in Outagamie County.
For the past 40 years, anyone wanting to buy a hunting license must first pass a hunter education course.
This year's class is much larger than those in recent years.
At the Outagamie Conservation Club north of Greenville, hunter safety is the name of the game.
"Come over here pick a gun up," said one hunter education instructor.
"Check it out like you were in class. Make sure it's empty chamber's open, pointed in a safe direction," he said.
Instructors say the class usually draws 50-70 students, but for the past four weeks, 108 pupils from age 10 to 69 have studied the rules.
"Treat your firearm as if it was loaded," said Dylan Hughes, New London.
"Always have your firearm in a safe direction," said Jessica Wolf, Darboy.
"Be sure of target and what's beyond," said Geoff Huenink, Appleton.
"Keep your finger outside the trigger until ready to shoot," said Sue Wolf, Darboy.
A 40 question exam put students to the test. Trap shooting and a practical exercise included encounters with other hunters and wardens.
Sue Wolf and her 16-year-old daughter Jessica are new to the sport.
"My daughter wanted to take hunter safety so she can hunt with her dad. We got her involved with hunter safety class. I wanted to take it with her just to be a part of it, to learn as well," said Wolf.
"It's kind of fun, and it's kind of hard, but it's mostly fun," said Hughes.
Eleven-year-old Dylan Hughes is here with his grandfather Bob Dieck.
"I've been working with him before this, and I think this just adds to it. We're always going to stay on the safety side," said Bob Dieck, Shiocton.
The Department of Natural Resources keeps track of what it calls incidents during any given hunting season. Instructors say they can adjust their curriculum to address any issues.
"If there's something that's happening more and more on one item, they give it to us and we pass it on to the students," said Mike Kohl, hunter education instructor.
"This is their opportunity to show us, that they were paying attention," said Kohl.
Instructors tell us all 108 students passed the course.
The DNR estimates 30,000 people pass the hunter safety class each year.
Those aged 10-15 are eligible to participate in this weekend's youth hunt.
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