Turner's Hunter Ed Class Fiasco Update.

spectr17

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Jim Matthews Coloumn

6/26/02

HUNTER SAFETY UPDATE: A recent survey of local hunter safety instructors has shown that their classes aren't growing proportional to the void left by the closure of the Turner's-Raahauge's hunter safety class -- formerly the largest in the state. The net result is that fewer new hunters get hunting licenses this year. With a steady, annual decline in hunter numbers, the Department of Fish and Game is making the problem worse.

The DFG effectively closed down the class by not allowing the budget -- specifically expenses for hall rental and advertising, even though both of those things are allowed under the guidelines for hunter education classes. Knowing there was nothing illegal done, the DFG has never issued a citation.

Now we have been told that the pressure to end the Turner's-Raahauge class came from Sacramento. Jack Edwards, the DFG warden in Sacramento who oversees the hunter ed program, said recently in a public meeting "we have been trying to close down the Raahauge class for 10 years."

This DFG fiasco has continued to spiral out of control. We understand now, that in an effort to cover their tracks, the DFG is auditing many other classes and expenses are being disallowed because instructors "are charging too much."

Instructors are not allowed to make a profit when running a hunter education class, but they can charge enough to cover legitimate expenses -- such as space rental, bookkeeping, postage, flyers, advertising, etc.

But apparently you can charge for these expenses only if the DFG decides by some arbitrary measure that it isn't too much.

CLASSES COMING UP: For those of you who have been left wondering where a son, daughter or hunting buddy can take a class this year, there are 32 classes slated in July at various locations throughout Southern California. Most are one-day, 10-hour classes, but there are also some two, four, and five-day classes that space the mandatory instruction out over several days. All these classes listed on the DFG's website at: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered/he_classes.html. You can also call the DFG in Long Beach at (562) 590-5185 for information.
 

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