Hunting season may be months away, but the Department of Natural Resources says now is a good time to think about taking a required education course.

The DNR requires anyone born after 1973 to take the 10 hour course before they can get a hunting license. Administrator Tim Lawhern says some communities have several of those each year, but there are also some that only do one. He says that means hunters need to plan accordingly to make sure they get the course in time.

Lawhern says he often gets calls from hunters, right before the season starts, but says by then, it's often too late. That's because many of the people who teach the courses are also hunters, so their busy planning their season at that time.

Courses are usually offered over a weeklong or weekend period, but Lawhern says there are other ways to meet the requirement. Those include using the Internet or CD-ROM.

The course teaches students hunting laws and good safety practices. It requires them to pass a written and practical exam before they receive certification.

AUDIO: Matt Lehman reports (MP3 :44)

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