Teacher of hunter safety program doesn't mess around with guns


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Drizzt
March 21, 2003, 06:36 PM
Safety first

Teacher of hunter safety program doesn't mess around with guns

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NEWS SUN STAFF REPORT

Even though it happened more than 25 years ago, Dave Theesfeld remembers it as if it happened yesterday.

As a 16-year-old hunter, Theesfeld, his uncle and some guests were hunting near a farm in southern Illinois. One of the guests, a priest, climbed a fence to enter a different field.

The priest rested the barrel of his gun on his green rubber boots and waited for the group to catch up.

However, with the safety off and his finger resting on the trigger, the gun went off. Luckily, the priest shot his foot in the fleshy portion between his big toe and first toe, narrowly avoiding serious damage.

Theesfeld has a full arsenal of similar stories he uses as a warning to new hunters as a volunteer instructor in the Illinois Department of Resources Hunter Education Program.

"I always tell them I'm not pulling your leg, these are real stories," Theesfeld said. "I want to get them started in a safe direction. We're not making them experts. We're going to give them preliminary ground work. I tell them, after that it's up to you to try and follow the guidelines we've given you. Only experience will make you better.

"Every time I teach the course, I learn something from students that makes me a better instructor and a better hunter."

Theesfeld has graduated around 900 students in his 25 years teaching the course, and welcomed another small group into his personal alumni Saturday at the Glenridge Trap Club in rural Mundelein.

The hunter safety course is a minimum 10-hour course taught by volunteers that must be successfully completed to receive a state Certificate of Competency. The law requires that anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1980 must complete the course before receiving a hunting license.

However, it's not all youngsters whetting their appetite for the outdoors at these courses.

"There's a lot of fathers here," Theesfeld said. "If they want to hunt in another state, you have to have this card or you'll spend two days out there interrupting your hunt to get the card."

The Mundelein course began with 3.5-hour session Tuesday and Thursday, and concluded with a seven-hour session on Saturday.

Course topics included hunter ethics (both to the game and property owners), attitude, conservation, hunting law, rifle safety, archery and bow hunting, tree stand safety, hand gun safety, boating and water safety and gun safety in the field.

On Saturday, a Conservation Police officer spoke to the students about gun and hunting laws. Before officially completing the course, students had to pass a multiple choice and true/false test.

http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/newssun/sports/w20hunt.htm

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Sisco
March 21, 2003, 06:53 PM
It helps to use props when teaching the youngsters too.

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid41/p037c848ee26f4baa3bc3e92a81ef5f38/fcf75e65.jpg

Left barrel was fired with an obstruction, hole in barrel, handguard was shattered.
Makes an impression.

Blackhawk
March 21, 2003, 06:56 PM
However, with the safety off and his finger resting on the trigger, the gun went off. That's not usually how priests shoot themselves in the foot.... :rolleyes:

blades67
March 21, 2003, 10:36 PM
That's just mean Blackhawk.:evil:

S_O_Laban
March 22, 2003, 01:35 AM
Blackhawk, :D LOL

Preacherman
March 23, 2003, 12:15 AM
Blackhawk, see me in the confessional tomorrow morning... :D

ahadams
March 23, 2003, 12:19 AM
an Anglican priest or a Roman priest?
(an English sparrow or an African sparrow?)

[I'm an Anglican lay minister...so of course I had to ask. no missals (pun intended) from my Roman friends, I hope!]

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