View Poll Results: What would you change?

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  • Nothing. Course is fine for the beginning archer.

    29 46.03%
  • Too hard. Please make it easier by ....

    3 4.76%
  • Too easy. Lets make it harder by ....

    23 36.51%
  • We need major changes such as ....

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Thread: Archery Certification Course

  1. #1
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Archery Certification Course

    If you could change the archery certification course, what would you suggest? Remember, archers taking the course may have no hunting experience or may have 50 years of experience. Also remember that to be transferable to other states, we need to match their content. So what you suggest has to fit everyone.

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  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    I took the course over 10 years ago, so I don't know if it is still the same. When I took it, however, the archer had to make 5 of 8 shots in the kill zone and at least 1 of 2 on each target. I think this is far too easy. We should not be sending people into the field that can only make a lethal kills 63% of the time. It should be at least 7 out of 8 for a passing score, if not a full 100%. As for me, I passed with 5 of 8 and had absolutely no business heading into the woods with my bow.

  3. #3

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    I think the last two go hand in hand, make it harder and major changes.

    More up to date info, paper, and video wise.

    more time in the class, make it a 20 hour course. Let's stop pencil whopping it. There is more to being a responisble bowhunter then just ethics!

    As for the shooting portion. It is easy, it isnt ment to be failed, so on one hand, I look at it and say, how can I send this guy out in the woods to hunt who can barely shoot, yet realizing this is ment to educate, not discriminate. So I say keep it as it is.....though a for giggles shot would be nice. What do you think is your max effective range at the beginning of the class. Put out a caribou out there for them, being that is a mid sized target and that is afterallw hat they are going to sling quiver loads of arrows too.....lets see if they can really do it, heart to heart wise, they wont fail it if they miss or wound. Just an eye opener.

    but then again, showing up at 6 am and leaving at 7 or 8pm on the old class room and shooting made for a loooooong day. We'd need more of an incentive to be an instructor and actually show up.

    The test itself on paper is fine, it's a good place to start for youngings. Making the written test harder, well that could be a catch 22. remember alot of these youngings have ZERO experience, along with some of the adults.

    That said there is to much missing here to be considered a bow certification class that really should be here. I have not taught in a couple of years now, and quite frankly until a gold bar shows up on my doorstep it wont happen anymore. Things with this program will not change for the better given current management from the top down so all of this is peeing directly into a strong headwind. Good luck!!

  4. #4
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    They are required to do the NBEF book and they are tested on it, that is all that is needed to fullfill the requirement for other states, if it wasn't they couldn't take an online class could they? We don't need to teach the book in class, its not needed. We need to teach an actual class but now with things moving toward being online this is pretty much a dead subject.

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up bow cert

    The class is fine. I took the class in Montana a zillion years ago and the class offered in AK 4 years ago and they are very similiar. I thought it was a piece of cake, both the written and the proficiency.

    A friend I know purchased his first bow up here, took the course and passed the written, but bombed the proficiency shooting test miserably (inexperience). I think it was an eyeopener for him that AK is serious about at least being minimally adequate/prepared/skilled to pick up a bow and start hunting here.

    I didn't need to take the AK class as I was certified in MT, but who in the heck would pass on a couple of nights to sit around with other hunters and talk "hunting". For the record, I think my instructors did a great job getting the info to the class. Good work AK.

  6. #6
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Brian

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I took the course over 10 years ago, so I don't know if it is still the same. When I took it, however, the archer had to make 5 of 8 shots in the kill zone and at least 1 of 2 on each target. I think this is far too easy. We should not be sending people into the field that can only make a lethal kills 63% of the time. It should be at least 7 out of 8 for a passing score, if not a full 100%. As for me, I passed with 5 of 8 and had absolutely no business heading into the woods with my bow.
    Brian: I agree as a compound shooter that the shooting test was easy for me. An ethical archer knows his limitations on yardage with his equipment. Alaska has a minimum poundage of 40 allowed for big game as do many other states. And, having traditional shooters taking the test too, how do you propose to make it harder and still fair for all shooters?

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  7. #7
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    And, having traditional shooters taking the test too, how do you propose to make it harder and still fair for all shooters?
    I don't see how making it 7 out of 8 would be unfair for the traditional archer, as long as the yardage is kept reasonable. All of the targets on the current test are within 30 yards, right? If so, I don't see why traditional archers should be held to a lower standard. When they let an arrow fly at an animal, they need to be just as certain as their compound counterparts that they will hit the animal in the vitals. It may take (much) more practice, but their responsibility is just as great in making a lethal shot.

    Make it harder.

  8. #8

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    I think if you make it too hard then it will dissway people from becoming future bowhunters. There's also some hidden things that need to be addressed, such as the ruling for bow draw poundage and arrow weight differences between Alaska's big game and it's REALLY big game. If you draw a 40 lb bow then you cannot shoot a moose with it but can a caribou, deer, sheep etc, etc.

  9. #9
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default We need these

    Quote Originally Posted by AkHunter45 View Post
    I think if you make it too hard then it will dis sway people from becoming future bowhunters.
    AKHunter45 you are so right. We need more of our youth bowhunting. Our numbers are dwindling overall as only 8-10% of the population are hunters (% includes gun hunters).

    The benefits of getting the kids out-of-doors can not be argued by anyone. Shut the TV and the video games off and let them experience real life.

    Valdez was able to obtain a grant last year for the Archery in the Schools Program. It may help us down here.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  10. #10

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    I always wondered why nobody ever taught hunting 101, you know, teaching people the skills it takes to become a hunter. SKills that seem to have been lost over the years like reading tracks, reading of the terrain, building emergency shelters, stuff that I learned on my own and was never taught. How fun would this be!!!

  11. #11
    Member Valley Trash's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AkHunter45 View Post
    I always wondered why nobody ever taught hunting 101, you know, teaching people the skills it takes to become a hunter. SKills that seem to have been lost over the years like reading tracks, reading of the terrain, building emergency shelters, stuff that I learned on my own and was never taught. How fun would this be!!!
    That's Dad's job!

    I haven't taken the course yet, didn't need it in my previous state when I bow hunted years ago. I'm looking forward to it though, whish I lived in Valdez so I could take it from you Dave. And I'd much rather take the class from an experienced instructer than an on-line course. The only way I'll do that is if one is not offered in time. Even though the course has to be understandable for someone with no experience, I hope it is not too dumbed down for someone with some hunting knowledge to get something out of it.

  12. #12
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    AKHunter45 you are so right. We need more of our youth bowhunting. Our numbers are dwindling overall as only 8-10% of the population are hunters (% includes gun hunters).
    I agree that we need more people, especially youth, involved in hunting. That being said, what we really need is better hunters. Unfortunately, the future of our pursuit may very well be decided at the ballot box. It is incumbent upon us to train the next generation of hunters well, and that includes courses such as these that are challenging while still being accessible. When pictures of animals walking around with arrows sticking out of their legs make the news, we all lose.

    Make it reasonable, provide extra training for those who need it, but please, please, please make it challenging and set the expectations high. Just like we do our youth no favors by passing them along in school without expecting anything out of them, so too do we do future hunters no favor by passing them through certification classes without expecting actual proficiency.

  13. #13
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default They do

    Quote Originally Posted by AkHunter45 View Post
    I always wondered why nobody ever taught hunting 101, you know, teaching people the skills it takes to become a hunter. SKills that seem to have been lost over the years like reading tracks, reading of the terrain, building emergency shelters, stuff that I learned on my own and was never taught. How fun would this be!!!
    This stuff is still taught. It is taught by the Boy Scouts. I know because I was not only a scout, but a Scout Master & Cub Master for seven years. That is where I learned most of my skills. I also picked some up from the YMCA summer camp programs.

    The Anchorage School District has a Wilderness program curriculum. I am currently trying to set up a similar program in Valdez. It would have within it: Hunter Ed., Archery Cert., bear baiting, basic boating, avalanche safety, snow machine safety, camping and woodsman skills and ...... what ever I can did up that works like first aid. It might end up being a junior high course or high school, not sure.

    Actually I learned little from my father. He was a wonderful man but not an outdoorsman. He knew it, so he found people interested in what I was and I went with them and learned from others. I hold nothing against dad. He even bought a 16 gauge Mossberg bolt action to take me hunting. I doubt if he ever fired it. But he took me hunting, as he did read about track, basketball, bowling or whatever any of my three brothers was interested in. I miss him.

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  14. #14

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    I was a Boy Scout myself but I wasn't taught how to track animals, how to read sign, play the wind, all that biz. I understand to a certain extent that dad should be teaching his children the basics of hunting but some father aren't interested in hunting, so who teaches the kid who's father doesn't hunt but the child want too learn? There's more to hunting than strapping a rifle/bow across your back and heading into the woods.

  15. #15
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default True

    True the tracking and wind part were not covered. I learned from my fathers friends. But many of them even lacked those basic skills. I think you become more attuned to those things as a bowhunter.

    Do we need an advanced hunting course for firearms and bow. I know that if I tried to teach everything I knew about hunting I could only partially cover in a seven hour class. It would be nice to have something like a hunting club in town where you could meet once a month and maybe discuss with friends topics like: treestand basics, packing for sheep and goat hunts, sleeping and tents. I would go myself.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AkHunter45 View Post
    I was a Boy Scout myself but I wasn't taught how to track animals, how to read sign, play the wind, all that biz. I understand to a certain extent that dad should be teaching his children the basics of hunting but some father aren't interested in hunting, so who teaches the kid who's father doesn't hunt but the child want too learn? There's more to hunting than strapping a rifle/bow across your back and heading into the woods.
    You have no idea how many times I've brought that up and it always got shot down. "This is a class about Bowhunting, not a class about how to Bowhunt AK" is all I ever heard. Its becoming a major problem from what I see. Many of those coming into bowhunting or hunting for that matter have not had the mentorship those of us who grew up in a hunting family have had. The class was pretty much the only chance at any kind of mentorship for a lot of people and when you add up those that have no expirience in AK, even though they have some hunting skills, they benefit from some AK specific information.

    The tools I was given to teach a class were the book, a power point on the book and a test on the book, and of course a guide on teaching the book. So it's kind of set up so a person does the book and then gets beat over the head with the book and dies a horrible death by power point.

    I was allowed to add a lot to the classes (thanks to a certain person) I taught and I never taught the book. I started with the dry tech stuff on bows such as set up, tuning, how to go about shooting and practicing, then moved into some more interesting stuff. I still pretty much followed the direction of the book but went into more detail and hands on. I added as much video as I could come up with and tossed the class some bones once in a while on Hunting AK tips. It helped keep their attention and moral up, which made for a better class.

    Theres always time to throw something worth while in, like ten minutes on meat care in AK is going to kill someone. I pretty much always ran over time but never heard any complaints about it. I believe there is some room to add some AK information and it is valuable to the class. It gives the students more and better tools to head afield with and also allows us to implement information that can help alleviate issues around the state, like some information on how to hunt caribou up north, so people have more than just road hunting in their bag of tricks. I think instructors need these type of tools to teach with and students need the information.

  17. #17

    Default

    daveinthebush, i like the idea of a hunting club or group as well and not just a BS session or telling hunting stories, not that there's anything wrong with that but I think we do enough of that here and on other forums. There could be trips in the field to teach how to track and how to read them and what they mean. Even though i've hunted since I was 13 there is still so much more I would like to learn.

  18. #18
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    Default I Agree

    I think that is an awsome idea. Being new to bowhunting and having only gone a few times (with nothing really to show for it) that would help people like me a lot. I know that I'm not the only one out there in my situation. Even though I have yet to bag a big game animal with my bow I can't see myself going back to rifle, and that is how all my buddies hunt is with rifle. So just being around other bowhunters would be great.

  19. #19
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Default

    I am a new bowhunter. I bought my bow in April and passed the archery course in August, on my first attempt. Later that month, I shot a caribou with my bow. It was my first ever bow kill, and my first ever caribou. The 8-day hunt provided me with memories that will last me for the rest of my life. What a great experience!

    I was bit nervous about taking the bowhunters course, since I didn't have a lot of experience using archery equipment. Many of my friends told me not to worry, because the course would be easy anyway. I contend that the reason the course was easy, was because I practiced my archery shooting before the course, and I actually did all the book work before the class started....like I was supposed to.

    There were several people in my class that failed the course. Most failed because of the shooting portion. If you asked them, I bet they would probably think the course was too hard.

    In my way of thinking, the bowhunters course does exactly what it's supposed to do. The mandatory course introduces inexperienced bow hunters to the sport and ensures that only those participants that can demonstrate a reasonable amount of archery skill are allowed to hunt in the state's archery-only areas. It's not designed to teach a person everything there is to know about archery, nor does it aim to make them all expert hunters. The course simply weeds out the would-be bowhunters that can't demonstrate basic skills with a bow.

    Why change a good thing?

  20. #20
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    Default

    I THINK IT IS TOO EASY BUT RELATIVELY FAIR, BUT ALASKA ALREADY HAS TOUGHEST COURSE WITH MANDATORY PROFICIENCY ( I DO NOT THINK THERE IS ANY OTHER STATE WITH THAT) AND THINK THERE SHOULD CHANGES. I REALLY DO NOT LIKE THE IDEA OF THE ON-LINE COURSE.
    I SHOOT AND HUNT WITH BOTH RECURVE AND COMPOUND. I BELEIVE 30 YARD SHOTS FOR TRADITIONAL SHOOTERS IS TOO FAR. SHOULD BE 20 MAX. IMO, THERE ARE DAYS I COULD NOT PASS WITH MY RECURVE SHOOTING OUT TO 30 YARDS. I THINK THAT 30 YARDS FOR TRAD. SHOOTERS IS LIKE TESTING A COMPOUND SHOOTER AT 50-60 YARDS. ?????? HAVE DIFFERENT SHOOTING YARDAGE FOR TRAD. VS COMPOUND AND BOWHUNTER ED. CARD REFLECT WHAT YOU CAN HUNT WITH???? FT. RICH IS ALREADY DOING SOMETHING ALONG THAT LINE.
    I HAVE ABOUT 33% FAILURE AT SHOOTING CURRENTLY, I DO NOT KNOW WHAT % BREAK DOWN IS COMPOUND VS TRAD.
    I WOULD LIKE TO SEE OUT OF STATE SHOOTERS BE REQUIRED TO PASS OUR SHOOTING COURSE BUT LOGISTICALLY THAT WOULD BE NEAR IMPOSSIBLE AS IT IS TOUGH TO GET ENOUGH INSTRUCTORS TO DO THE CLASSES DESIRED NOW.
    I WOULD LIKE TO SEE BASIC HUNTER ED. REQUIRED THEN HAVE ADVANCED COURSE IN BOWHUNTING AND ONLY HAVE IT BOWHUNTING INFO NOT FIRST AID, SURVIVAL ETC. THIS HAS BEEN TALKED ABOUT BUT NOT IMPLIMENTED. THEN MORE TIME COULD BE SPENT ON ARCHERY AND BOWHUNTING RELATED INFO.
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
    MASTER BOWHUNTER EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR; MEMBER UNITED BLOOD TRACKERS; POPE & YOUNG MEASURER

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