The annual fall session of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Hunter Safety Education Course in River Falls is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 6:30 p.m. at Meyer Middle School, 230 N. Ninth St.

Registration fee is $10 and course registrants who are not yet 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who must attend the entire session the evening of registration.

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Registration will occur outside the school auditorium on a first-come, first-served basis and be limited to the first 80 registrants. No registration will occur before 6:30 p.m. and the session will end by 8:30 p.m.

Anyone wishing to hunt any type of game in Wisconsin who was born after Jan. 1, 1973, is required by law to complete a certified hunter safety course of instruction. Many states require hunter safety certification for all non-resident hunters. Graduates of this course will receive a lifetime certificate that is recognized throughout the country.

For Wisconsin residents the certificate is valid in lieu of a small game license for the year it is issued and may be used as a "hunter's choice" certificate while deer hunting (subject to some restrictions). Course participants should reach the age of 12 within six months of completion to consider enrolling.

Hunter safety education in Wisconsin has contributed to a 90 percent reduction of hunting accidents in the state. In 1967, the year formal hunter safety education began, there were 44 hunting accidents per 100,000 hunters in Wisconsin. In 1997, there were four hunting accidents per 100,000 hunters in the state.

The course includes 11 sessions in all. Session dates are Sept. 4, 6, 10, 11, 13, 17, 18, 20, 22, 24 and 25. Weekday sessions are from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Meyer Middle School auditorium. The Saturday, Sept. 22, session will be at 9 a.m. at the River Falls Sportsmen's Club on Rifle Range Road and last until 3 p.m.

Course participants are allowed to miss one course session and still graduate. Missing two course sessions will result in failure of the course. Failure to attend the Saturday, Sept. 22, range day session will also result in failure of the course. If the Sept. 22 session cannot be attended, prospective students should not enroll for this class.