Advanced Hunter Training - Anyone Know if This Exists?

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by rookhawk, Oct 3, 2019.

  1. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    One thing I love about Germany is they do not mess around about hunting. Hunter safety, protocol, etiquette, and tactics are covered in a LENGTHY program before you can buy a hunting license. Not a really brief US hunter safety seminar, but a truly lengthy one before you get your hunting license.

    In Zimbabwe and RSA they have lengthy training programs for PHs and Guides to demonstrate knowledge and proficiency broadly as well.

    So the question:

    Has anyone offered such training and certification in the USA? I'd love to take the German course and have the legal right to buy a German hunting license. I'd love to take the PH apprentice/photo guide course to be a well-informed hunter/client with that level of knowledge.

    This seems like an area of strong interest. The volume of marksmanship programs in the States, distance shooting courses, combat/tactical courses for civilians, etc. demonstrate pent up demand for training and a willingness to pay a lot for good knowledge.

    As a certified Hunter's Ed instructor here in the States, I can say firmly that we're doing our best, but our best isn't all that good. We train to the test. We have very little time to cover information. We cover TABK and a few basics while doing very little to encourage ethics and decorum to make "gentleman and ladies" out of the new recruits...we just want them to be legal. You can still be a total a-hole while being legal, unfortunately. Most are doing so out of ignorance.

    @Red Leg do you know of any US-based programs that train to the German standards of hunter proficiency?
     
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  2. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Fanatic

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    I had a german ship surveyor on one of my ships. He was hunter. It was ome of audits i enjoyed whic is not always the case. We talked at lenght after audit was done about german licensing and training standard. It is one of toughest hunting examiniations in the world. Biology is extensive. He even told me it is not unusual that applicants go to another region of country to make exam, where examinatin is slightly easier. I am not from germany, but we have members from there on forum and they can provide more details. Bottom line, it might be good idea, but be carefull what you wish for... My german friend was not happy with that stndard. Some drop on exam.
     
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  3. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Not even close. The typical German spends a year or more earning his or her hunting license. Study includes everything from basic forestry, traditions, conservation, shooting, and firearms safety. The course is followed by a very difficult and in-depth examination, to include a shooting evaluation. Many end up taking the test more than once. A difficulty in getting too stringent here is that we run afoul of the notion that hunting is a "right" rather than a privilege.
     

  4. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

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    Not really what youre describing.. but might still be of interest to you... (advanced hunter training.. one of the courses is specific to DG hunting)...

    http://ftwsaam.com/SaamTraining.aspx
     

  5. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Is it possible to get the curriculum and certified trainers for this course in English to be administered in the USA? How awesome it would be as an elective?

    Can an American march into Germany without the certification and hunt temporarily? Or is it required? I saw English based courses for Armed Services Members on bases in Europe, but couldn't find it stateside.
     

  6. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Yes, they have a system like other EU countries that allows a visiting hunter to hunt in Germany. Most if not all require a current US hunting license issued by the state of residence. The Armed Forces version is administered by the Rod & Gun clubs typically and is a condensed and shortened version of the German program. I was there for five years and an instructor for the last couple. The shortened version for servicemen is a good thing - taking two years to get a hunting license during a typical three year tour is non-motivational. Back in the day, the US Forces version took about six-weeks. Not certain now.
     

  7. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    the six week one is what I was thinking about. Any chance you still have contacts for how to get the curriculum or point of contact?

    Is that abridged course “fully valid” or is it restricted in its authorizations compared with the two year ordeal?
     

  8. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    This doesn't sound terribly kid friendly.
     

  9. curtism1234

    curtism1234 AH Enthusiast

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    You mean Germany doesn't have orange tape and empty beer cans littered all through the woods at the end of the season?
     

  10. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Regrettably no. I retired from the military sixteen years ago, and last served in Germany in 1980. :A Wheelchair:
     

  11. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    Washington and Oregon have Advanced Hunter Education/Master Hunter Programs but the focus is more of a Next Step Program. With the decline in hunters, primarily due to existing hunters aging out and younger generations having other interests, the agency's interests are more about survival than demanding a minimum skill level for the license holders. We do that the First Hunt Program which provides opportunities for new hunters to be teamed up with experienced hunter mentors. Since the first stages of hunting development involve shooting and limiting-out, the mentored hunts (at least around here) generally are upland (put-take pheasants) and wild turkey hunts. Big game hunts generally look a lot more like camping trips than hunting.

    The Washington Master Hunter Certification consists of a really difficult 100 question written test, based on information provided to the applicant. The texts involve Safety, Sportsmanship/Ethics, Conservation, Wildlife Identification, History and a few other aspects that I don't recall at the moment. In addition there are proficiency requirements for different "implements": rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, archery, crossbow and maybe handgun. Certification is only required for one- so the MH could be certified by just being proficient with a rifle. the third requirement is 40 hours of conservation oriented community service. The certification is for 5 years, during which time the renewal involves community service.

    The goal of the program is to develop a "corps" of community minded hunters that are more wildlife management technicians highly skilled in public contact and ethical (politically correct) behavior. The dissonance enters when a prospective MH asks "What's In It For Me?". The answer isn't that you'll get rewarded with a tag for a branch antler elk in a limited entry unit. What you get in addition to the miles of fence that you put up to keep deer and elk from running onto the interstate, or the planting of food plants to restore habitat in a burned area, or any of the other jobs that the Dept of Wildlife needs done but has insufficient funding to do with paid staff, IS the satisfaction that you are benefitting the wildlife of the state and contributing to the acceptance by the general population of hunters and hunting.

    The department would really like to have a program that would involved Graduate level hunter education on the line of the European/Scandinavian model but their are impediments. Cost to the state as well as fears that it would add insurmountable obstacles to entry, further reducing the number of hunters are very real concerns.

    Several years ago the magazine writer Wayne vanZwoll offered a class at the local Community College. It was scheduled to involve as much detail about big game hunting skill as could be put into a classroom environment. I planned to attend however on the first day of the class a blizzard hit and the remainder of the class was cancelled.

    I have been certified as a hunter education instructor for over 30 years, an AHE/MH graduate since its inception about 20 years ago and I proctor the tests for the MH program. After the classes and tests I'm occasionally asked by students and their parents if I could teach a class that would pick-up where the state class stopped. I contacted a retired state trooper/ firearms training officer and we looked into developing a curriculum for such a course. We have both completed the NRA Range safety officer program so it seemed a possibility that we could even include live fire. Then we looked into implementing it. There were so many brickwalls on the road that we gave up on the idea. various facilities refused for reasons ranging from ideological differences to fear of liability to refusing to sell us insurance- the list went on. So now when I'm asked about such a program I just say that at this time it isn't in the planning. which is sad, because it is clear that there is a demand for the knowledge that would be imparted. Such the pity.
     
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  12. Longwalker

    Longwalker AH Enthusiast

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    I like this idea very much! In Canada we tend to teach a short, bare bones hunter education course that barely scratches the surface of what a fully competent hunter should know. I have been a Hunter Education instructor for more than 30 years, but recently dropped out because it wasn't personally satisfying any more teaching such a basic course mainly to youngsters, and because of the additional red tape that keeps being piled on instructors here. For instance we are not allowed to teach the firearm safety portion of the hunter ed course with real functioning firearms any more, due to regulations imposed by the RCMP. All classroom instruction must be with deactivated firearms and no range time is required. Hunter ethics and wildlife biology are barely mentioned in our course, and are usually quickly mentioned and passed over. I have a German "guest" hunting licence and have hunted there as a guest on several occasions. I have talked with a couple of hunters there who explained the very extensive German requirements for training before they become eligible for a licence. I think somewhere in the middle is where I would feel comfortable participating, spending more than the 30-40 hours of the basic course normally taught in Canada and the year or two long course and apprenticeship required in Germany.
     

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