Home, sweet home

The more I travel, the more I love where I live. Consider for a
moment that in order to obtain a general and bowhunting license in
New York state a person must take a hunter safety course. These
courses are required of all first-time gun hunters, bowhunters and
trappers and are offered by trained instructors certified by the
Department of Environmental Conservation. Please take note: all of
these courses are given free of charge. The course for a potential
gun hunter runs for 10 hours and if you want to hunt deer and bear
with a bow and arrow, an additional eight hours of instruction is
required. Once completed, a person need never again take any
additional instruction and, unless their license is revoked for
some infraction of the game laws, they can hunt the rest of their
lives with no refresher courses required.

Earlier this month I was in Columbus, Ohio, attending the annual
Archery Trade Show, where manufacturers and dealers meet to see
what’s new in the archery industry and to place their orders for
the coming year. While taking a break I happened to sit next to
Dennis and Eric Paulsen, brothers who traveled from Denmark to
attend the show. As we spoke, our conversation turned to the
differences between hunting here in the United States and in
Europe.

Just like New York and many other states, in Denmark, an
aspiring hunter is required to attend several classes before
they’re allowed to purchase a hunting license and go hunting, but
the brothers said things work a little differently in their home
country. They explained that in their country, a potential hunter
must endure three months of classes and seminars in addition to
passing a rigorous test before being allowed to purchase a general
hunting license for $800 American. If a person wants to hunt with a
compound bow they must take an additional archery-specific course
and pay another $100. As they say on the television infomercials,
“But wait!” If a hunter wants to hunt with a long bow yet another
course is required, this time specifically tailored to long bow
hunting and yep, you guessed it, they must pay another $100
fee.

A weekend long seminar is required for both the compound and
long bow course and a bow shooting proficiency test is given at the
end of the weekend. After paying the required fee and taking the
bowhunting course, an aspiring archer is required to pass an
archery proficiency test. Five of six arrows shot at various
distances ranging from 10 to 30 yards must fall into the kill zone
of the target. Put only four arrows in the kill zone and you’re
required to pay the $100 dollar again and spend another weekend
re-taking the course and to receive additional coaching in shooting
proficiency. As if all this wasn’t enough, hunters who do
eventually pass all the requirements are still required to be
recertified in their shooting proficiency every five years.

After all this you would think a guy’s now ready to go hunting,
but not so fast. Before being allowed to purchase a hunting license
the brothers told me the potential hunter now must obtain a
character reference from the local police. After that’s obtained
(they didn’t say how long this process took) the hunter is still
not ready to head to the woods because in addition to his license
and character reference from the police, he is required to carry
hunting insurance. Keep in mind that Denmark is one of the most
liberal countries in Europe when it comes to hunting, especially
bowhunting, and you get a better appreciation of what we have here
in this country.

 

Categories: New York – Mike Raykovicz

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