The Texas Wildlife Association supported changes to the Texas Hunter Education program during testimony to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission on Aug. 22 in Austin, saying the changes approved by the Commission create flexibility necessary to make hunter education more accessible to the general public and, ultimately, put more safe hunters in the field.  

“We would like to commend the department for looking for new ways to make sure that time is not a barrier to safe, educated hunters getting in the field to hunt with their friends and family,” said Texas Wildlife Association Hunting Heritage Programs Director Justin Dreibelbis. “We are in favor of the proposed changes to the hunter education rules, including the online-only option.  In addition, we feel this flexibility will create new opportunities for Texas hunters to participate in our TWA-TPWD shared hunting heritage programs, the Texas Youth Hunting Program and the Texas Big Game Awards.”

TWA believes the approved maximum period of six hours of instructional time for a one-day class is adequate to address the 35 core instructional items. TWA endorses the new online-only option, which will be made available to participants 17 years old and older.  

The new Texas Hunter Education program offerings are expected to be available in late September.  

In addition, TWA highlighted to Commissioners the value of volunteer service in 2012-2013 to the Texas Youth Hunting Program.  The over 1500 Texas Youth Hunting Program volunteers spent over 62,000 hours in support of the program, with a resulting value of over $1.2 million.