A Brief History of Hunter Education
Hunting has been a part of our heritage since this country was founded. However hunter education is a relatively new addition to the sport. Though the exact origins of hunter education are unknown, the first confirmed case of a hunter education course is from1944, when a 4-H camp run by the state offered a short hunting safety course as part of its activities.
The Minnesota Firearms Safety Course appeared on the map a few years later, in 1947, and was administered by the National Rifle Association (NRA). The State of New York was the first to introduce mandatory hunter education in 1949, due to growing concern about hunting incidents. Minnesota's program launched a few years later, in 1955.
Once hunter education became mandatory in most states and provinces, this lead to the creation of the North American Association of Hunter Safety Coordinators, which later became the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) we know of today. IHEA education standards are now used by all states and provinces across North America.
The IHEA's mission is a simple one: "To continue the heritage of hunting worldwide be developing safe, responsible and knowledgeable hunters."
The primary goals of the IHEA:
- Increase awareness and participation in a responsible and safe hunting tradition
- Continue to improve the methods and value of hunter education
- Further the skills and ranking of hunter education administrators and instructors
- Help better the hunter and hunting images to all non-hunters