LAKE COUNTY — Anyone interested in completing a hunter safety training course while enjoying fun hands-on activities are invited to register for a free hunter safety field day.

The field day is offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 and Sunday, Oct. 15, but students need to only attend one of the sessions, according to Leo Heska, hunter safety coordinator for Lake County.

“We will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Jones’ Ice Cream, 858 N. Michigan Ave., Baldwin. We will then drive to the Lake County Sportsman’s Club, where the field day will take place,” Heska said.

The field day and class will be outdoors and will include hiking, carrying and shooting guns, crawling under fences, climbing and reviewing book material, followed by a test. A lunch will be provided. The event will take place rain, snow or shine.

The instructors for the course are certified by the Department of Natural Resources, and students can earn their Michigan Hunter Safety card on-site.

Heska said he is looking forward to the field day.

“This is a very exciting program to be involved with,” he said. “We apply a different approach from other hunter safety programs by providing more hands-on training and reviewing material in the field from start to finish. There is no cost to attend the class, as even $10 could be a barrier for some students. This program is a great opportunity for children, to equip them to help shoot a deer. Imagine what it would feel like for a 12-year-old to help bring food to the table.”

“Our hunter safety field days get a lot of attendance from people out of the county as well. We have received positive feedback from people who participated in previous classes. The Lake County Sportsman’s Club is very kind to make their facility available for the training.”

Heska said there is still time for interested adults to become instructors for the field day.

“We love to get new instructors. We also encourage diversity with people from different ethnic groups and women to apply. When a girl in the class sees a woman teaching, it is a more inclusive and a good learning experience, especially in what is sometimes seen as an activity geared more toward males. Those who apply cannot have criminal violations or DNR violations,” he said.

Because of all the outdoors activities during the field day, students are required to dress in layers of appropriate clothing and wear boots.

Students also must go through the book material prior to the class. They can do this by visiting michigan.gov/dnr and look for “Online courses.” These courses are not free, and include a pre-test. After passing the pre-test, students get a certificate, which they are to bring to the field day.

Another option is to take the free hunter home study course, by studying a 100-page book and taking a four-page pre-test included. Students are to bring the completed pre-test to the field day. They can access the hunter home study course at milakecounty.org/hs or contacting Heska for a free printed copy.

“Students must bring to the field day either the online certificate or the completed four-page pre-test from the home study book. Without one of those, they will not get their Hunter Safety Card,” Heska explained.

For more information on the course visit milakecounty.org. To register for the field day or apply to be an instructor,  email hs@lakecounty.org or contact Heska at (231) 465-5111.