EatWild's CORE Course Review
Although there are a few different ways you can educate yourself on hunter safety, my personal favorite is the in-person course. Not only does it help you network with like-minded folks, it quickly covers the bare-bone essentials needed to pass the course (with ease) and start hunting: ethics, conservation, laws, species, and firearms.
Around Vancouver, EatWild has become the most prominent grassroots organization to get started hunting. Like CFC, their message is loud and clear: encourage people to get out in the woods and start a narrative of hunters who are mindful of their food and harvest. Earlier this year, I took their Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) course, British Columbia’s flavor of hunter safety.
What To Expect In The Three Days
The three-day course runs during the evening on either consecutive days in the middle of the week or spread across a two-week interval. Held in the Mount Pleasant Recreation House, the classroom setting. Get ready to take lots of notes. Each day is a four-hour session, broken up with planned breaks and provided snacks (chocolate chip cookies!!!).
DAY ONE: Lead by Dylan Eyers, EatWild founder, and lifelong hunter; Dylan starts by going over ethics, laws, and regulations. His emphasis on respect for the hunt and entertaining anecdotes from throughout his career is an excellent introduction to any newbie.
A veteran like Dylan is doing their best to ensure the next generation understands the importance of conservation and keeping the image of harvesting as favorable as possible. As someone who was conscious of this narrative before taking the class, I immediately related with EatWild’s approach.
DAY TWO: Celina Starnes covers outdoor survival, bird and game species, and conservation. As a hunter and Public Education and Outreach Manager for the Stanley Park Ecology Society, her teaching style creates an engaged audience with her well-rounded point of view.
It was also refreshing to learn from women in hunting, a traditionally male-dominated industry that has seen large growth in the female market recently. Celina gives women who are embracing the heritage a good role model to learn from.
DAY THREE: Rob Wilson, a conservation officer (CO) who learned to hunt from an old German man, who he comically references throughout. Rob rounds out the material by covering firearms, and bear safety. Be sure to pay attention especially during the firearm portion; you will be required to do a short practical exam (unless you have your gun license) by demonstrating how to load, unload, and fire a rifle. This is much easier than it sounds, you’ll be shown by Rob how to do each requirement multiple times and practice beforehand.
You’ll enjoy Rob’s stories of other hunters as well as his own experiences. As a CO, he’s responsible for enforcing many of the rules and regulations you’ll be learning about. His tips on how to treat a CO during an exchange are particularly interesting!
At the end of day three, you’ll take your practical firearms test and the multiple choice CORE exam.
Tips and Tricks
To give yourself the best possible chance of passing the multiple choice test, review your notes for 5-10min. Before and after each day if possible. Realistically, if you take notes throughout and are engaged in the course, you won’t require much additional studying. Be sure to listen for the instructor’s clues and read any material you’re told to.
Since the sessions are held in the evening, make sure you get a good meal in beforehand. If you run on caffeine like me, coffee will also be essential. Be sure to mingle with other new hunters and ask the instructors any burning questions during breaks.
The course does fill up fast; if you want to book your hunter safety with EatWild, you can check out their website, HERE.
If you're still uncertain of the in's and outs on getting your hunting license read our article that breaks it down into four simple steps, HERE.
Jenny's review on huntercourse.com is coming soon, subscribe (in the box below) to be alerted.
If you have your own experience to share or feedback for EatWild, comment below!