LONG BEACH - Beginning Monday Aug. 6, Long Beach Police Chief Flint Wright and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Officer Dan Chadwick will host a hunter's safety course at the Long Beach Fire Hall.

The course, which is required for hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1972, to acquire a hunting license, is free and will be open to all ages. Though the primary focus of the class is to prepare hunters for their upcoming seasons, Wright feels the class would be beneficial to everyone, even for people who do not plan to hunt.

"The state requires a minimum of 10 hours of instruction, but this class goes longer than that because we like to cover more material and get more in-depth. It's a good course and we try not to rush it because we want them to have a real understanding of firearm safety," says Wright. "There are a lot of firearms around here, it's a rural area and people tend to have firearms in their house. It's a great idea for a kid to learn all the rules for a firearm - it would be beneficial. There's no reason for them to be fearful of a firearm, it's a tool and if used properly it is very safe."

Wright and Chadwick will spend five evenings educating the group on how to carry a firearm safely, the rules of ethical hunting, first aid and survival, how to prevent hunting accidents, exhibiting good sportsmanship, the purpose of conservation and how to recognize wildlife and the relative laws. To complete the course, each individual must pass the written test, a live fire test with a BB gun and an obstacle course to test their overall knowledge of safely handling a firearm.

The five-day hunter's safety course will be offered from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Aug. 6 and 7, and Aug. 9 through 11 at the Long Beach Fire Hall, 7th Street North and Washington. The course is free but will be limited to the first 30 people who sign up. To register, call 642-2911.

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