Give the gift of safety this holiday seasonThe holiday season is one of the most popular times of the year for parents to give their child a hunting rifle, an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or a snowmobile as a gift, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The holiday season is one of the most popular times of the year for parents to give their child a hunting rifle, an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or a snowmobile as a gift, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Therefore, it’s also important to give them the second part of the gift – a safety training program offered by the DNR.
“DNR outdoor education safety training programs teach responsibility at an early age,” said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR enforcement education program coordinator. “Safety is the best gift you can give your youngster this holiday season. And what better way to do that than by enrolling your son or daughter in one of the DNR’s many safety program offerings.”
According to Hammer, children enjoy outdoor sports and activities because they are fun, challenging and safe, but it’s up to the parents to decide if the youngster is mature enough for shooting sports or operating a motorized recreational vehicle. It is also up to parents to decide if they themselves are prepared to teach safe firearm handling or safe recreational vehicle operation.
“Keep in mind that kids will be kids, and take that into account when buying a firearm, ATV, snowmobile or any other type of outdoor recreational gift,” Hammer said. “You know how well your child follows directions and handles responsibility. You know if your child is mature enough to be mindful of his or her own safety and the safety of others.”
Stocking stuffers include snowmobile safety CD training courses, ATV CDs, a boat and water safety packet, off-highway motorcycle CDs and off-road vehicle CDs. All course materials are free by contacting the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free, 888-646-6367 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free hunter education courses and class locations can be found on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov.