Janesville33.9°

Off target: Hunter safety classes no longer are part of summer school

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ANN MARIE AMES
May 24, 2010
— For the first time in more than 20 years, Frank Vogt won't teach hunter safety during summer school.

Vogt was a member of a charter group that started Wisconsin's hunter safety program in 1977, he said. He has taught the class through a number of organizations, including the Janesville School District summer school program.


He has taught six summer school classes for a total of 70 students each year, Vogt said.


The change came after a recent annual audit of programming, said Steve Huth, summer school director for the Janesville School District. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction only reimburses districts for classes offered by the districts, Huth said.


The hunter safety program is managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Therefore, the district can't be reimbursed for the class and no longer can offer it, Huth said.


The DNR only allows Vogt and other hunter safety teachers to charge students $10 for the cost of materials, Vogt said. Teachers are not paid for their time.


Because the school district no longer will pay Vogt to teach the class, he hopes an outside group might be willing to do so.


Hunter safety class is an important tool in developing a love of nature in children and teens, Vogt said.


And it's not always easy to get into the classes.


Rock County Sheriff's Office deputies teach hunter safety twice a year. Last fall, 70 children and adults showed up for a class that had room for 35.


Local hunter safety teachers Rick Turner and Janesville Police Department Deputy Chief Dan Davis put together a class to meet the overflow and to see how an "adults-only" class might work.


The DNR maintains a list of classes on its website, dnr.state.wi.us.


"This is an important thing for kids," Vogt said. "They need the chance to get away from the TV and get out in the woods and enjoy a different part of life."



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