Illinois hunter safety instructors – high demand, short supply
My sister and her husband, Kiley and Brandon Wells, teach hunter safety classes. I’ve considered doing it myself, but unlike my younger sibling, it’s an understatement to mention that I lack organizational skills. Therefore, I don’t believe I’m the best candidate. That said, I truly wish that more adult hunters were willing to step up to the plate and obtain the necessary requirements to do so.
Kiley and Brandon have been safety instructors for about seven years now, and organize between two and three classes per year. They’d like to do more, but time restraints can be a hindrance. Within days of advertising the dates of an upcoming class, they are inundated with phone calls for people wishing to attend. When the class reaches full capacity, a waiting list is started in case there’s a cancellation.
Last weekend was exceptional. After the waiting list became so long for their recent class, Kiley and Brandon decided to teach two in the same weekend. Personally, I thought they were nuts, but as a hunter and a parent of hunters, I was appreciative that they saw a need and rose to the occasion to meet it.
When they conduct their classes, it always impresses me how far folks are willing to drive to attend, especially considering it’s a 2-day course. But this offers proof that instructors are in high demand and short supply. Becoming an instructor isn’t difficult. It only takes someone willing to sacrifice a little time. But the instructors I know truly don’t see their time spent as a sacrifice. It’s their way of giving back not just to the hunting community but to hunting itself.
To become a Hunter Safety instructor, there’s an application found on the DNR website. A background check, for obvious reasons, is the next step. Once this is verified, you must assist a certified instructor five or six (I can’t recall exactly) of his or her classes, and attend an instructor training course. To hold status as an instructor, at least two classes every two years must be taught.
Like I said, I wish more hunters would step up and become certified to teach the hunter safety class. It’s crucial for those, young and old, who are just getting into hunting, to go about it the correct and safe way. Case in point, these classes help prevent injuries and tragedies.