Bowhunters learn about hunter safety

Published 1:12 am Sunday, July 29, 2007

FERRIDAY — Bowhunters of all ages attended the International Bowhunting Education Program hosted by Hewitt Archery and Pro Shop in Ferriday Saturday.

Homer Hewitt and Mel Riggs taught a group 10 to 12 people the importance of safety and being an ethical bowhunter.

“We do about eight of these classes per year,” Riggs said. “We volunteer to do this because we love the sport.”

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They were recognized by Louisiana for teaching more classes than anybody else.

“These classes are important but there are not enough people to volunteer their time to teach the class,” Riggs said. “We get people from all over Louisiana and Mississippi.”

The program is required by most states to hunt on federal reserve land and is accepted internationally.

Ethics is a big lesson taught to the students. They are taught to never take a bad shot in fear of wounding an animal and to be a good example for hunters everywhere.

“We want everyone we teach to be students of the land,” Hewitt said. “They need to know how to make a good, clean, ethical harvest.”

Hewitt and Riggs said they feel hunters are sometimes given a bad wrap by people who don’t hunt or understand the importance of what hunting does.

“We are developing better bowhunters,” Hewitt said.

They also discuss safety with students.

“I’m learning how to properly use and maintain the bow,” Joseph Davis of Jena, La., said. “They teach us general bow safety.”

Riggs talked to the class about checking the bowstrings and cams on compound bows because of the risk of the bow blowing up.

Alto, La., native Ashley Lewis, 11, attended the class with her dad, Keith, to get prepared for the upcoming deer season.

“I have learned a lot of new things,” Lewis said. “It’s fun.”

Hewitt and Riggs will teach four more classes, two in August and two in September.

For more information on future classes, contact Hewitt’s Archery and Pro Shop at 318-757-3319.

“Everybody should take this course,” Riggs said.