The Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office (BPSO) offered a hunter education course to the public this week, with 64 participants all passing the class.

The course ran this week from July 24 - 26.

The certification brings participants one step closer to a Louisiana Hunting License, with those aged 16 and up able to register and buy a license after completing the course.

The course covered a wide variety of topics, from ethics and conservation to gun safety.

BPSO Deputy Mike Halter and Lieutenant Craig Richard of the DeRidder Police Department taught the class.

“This’ll be my 21 year teaching the course,” Halter said. “Since we started the course in the state of Louisiana we’ve decreased the amount of hunter accidents probably ten fold.

“The biggest thing to really get across is that I think hunting gets a bad rap around the country, this course is meant to shed some light on the matter as well as prepare people for when they actually go to get their license. This educates people on how to be safe and to know what they’re doing, and I think that’s important for everybody.”

The event was held at the VFW Post 3619, which has supported the course for many years now, providing food and a space for the students and teachers to comfortably operate from.

“They’ve been such a huge help for many years, it’s great to have the staff here welcome the course with such open arms and to provide such support for us,” Halter said.

The state of Louisiana requires that anyone born on or after September 1, 1969 must receive hunter education certification from an LDWF-approved course prior to hunting in Louisiana.

The minimum age is 10-years old in order to participate in the course, though anyone 10 or 11 years old must be supervised while hunting even after receiving hunter education certification.