If this coming hunting or trapping season will be a first for you, or for someone in your family, then there's a hunter's education course in your future. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wants to remind all new hunters that a mandatory hunting, bowhunter, or trapping educational course must be completed before you can get a hunting license.

Each year, these courses help keep the hunting season safe for everyone and with almost 500,000 licensed hunters spending about 10 to 15 days in the field, that's really important. Last year, only 13 hunting-related shooting incidents occurred, making it the lowest number since the DEC started to keep track. These hunter education courses are a big part of that.

There's an on-line registration site, so it's easy to see which courses you'll need and which ones are close by where you live. New courses are added all the time, so if you don't see something that fits your schedule at first, keep checking back. You will need to look over the course work and do a little bit of homework before you enter the classroom, so signing up with enough time to complete these tasks is a good idea.

Here's to another successful, and safe hunting and trapping season in New York.

Bonus Video