Department of Environmental Conservation

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Hunter Education at Camp

Colby, DeBruce, Rushford, and Pack Forest

Archery at Pack Forest

The DEC Summer Camps program started as hunter education camps, and we continue that tradition today by offering Hunter Education Program courses to campers. These courses are offered in addition to archery programs at camp. All of these courses require the completion of homework by the camper prior to attending camp and must be signed up for during the camp registration process. DEC will mail a manual and worksheet to the campers who have enrolled in the course. Campers will receive the book 2-4 weeks prior to their week at camp.

Schedule of Hunter Education Programs at Summer Camps

Camps Hunter Education Programs Schedule for 2023
Week Pack Forest Rushford
2 Bowhunter Education Hunter Education
3 Hunter Education Bowhunter Education
5 Trapper Education Hunter Education
6 Hunter Education

Minimum Ages & More Info for Courses

  • Hunter Ed: 11 years old for course, 12 years to hunt
  • Bowhunter Ed: 11 years old for course, 12 years to hunt … and need hunter ed certificate to get hunting license, but bowhunting education can be taken before or after hunter education course
  • Trapper Ed: no age limit for course

Instructors & Safety at Camp

Campers participating in a Hunter Education Class

One hunter education program of gun, bow, or trapping is offered at each camp during four of the weeks. Approximately 30 percent of the campers that attend DEC camps participate in Hunter Education Program courses each summer. Trained instructors certified by the Department of Environmental Conservation teach safe and responsible outdoors practices and the important role of hunters and trappers in conservation. When available, environmental conservation officers also assist with the course instruction. These courses are extremely safe for the campers to participate in and, when class is not in session, the firearms and ammo are locked and not accessible to campers. At no time is a camper unsupervised during a Hunter Education Program course.

Campers are prohibited from bringing firearms to camp. However, campers may bring their own bow for use during the bowhunter education course or camp archery programs.