With hunting season rapidly approaching, sportsmen and women of all ages are getting excited at the prospects of soon donning camo, grabbing a shotgun and hitting the fields, woods and even the water.

That’s right:

* Dove hunting is only 20 days away (Sept. 1) in the North Zone; the same is true for Canada goose statewide.

* Teal, rail, gallinule and dove in the South Zone are 33 days (Sept. 13) away. 

* Squirrel hunting for youths is 44 days out (Sept. 24) and 51 for everybody else (Oct. 1), and rabbits are legal in 68 days (Oct. 18)

* The archery season on deer is also 51 days way in the Hill and Delta Zones, 66 days out in the Southeast.

* And if you really want to look ahead, the gun season on deer is 88 days away for youths and 102 for the rest of us. 

So, yeah, there is plenty of reason for excitement, planning and camp workdays.

However, there’s not much time to take care of one little chore necessary for a large percent of Mississippi hunters — getting certified through a Hunter Safety Course.  

* Hunters born after Jan. 1, 1972, are required to satisfactorily complete a hunter education course before purchasing a state hunting license.

* Hunters who are between 12 and 16 years of age must have a certificate of satisfactory completion of a hunter education course approved by the MDWFP before hunting alone (they may hunt without having the certificate of hunter education if the child is in the presence and under the direct supervision of a licensed or exempt hunter at least 21 years of age when hunting).

The MDWFP has plenty of classes scheduled this week, and lots more in the coming weeks. Classes range from one, two or three days. In some cases, students who complete the first seven hours of classroom training can attend a three-hour final training. 

To find the easiest class or method for you, visit: http://www.mdwfp.com/education-outreach/hunter-education/mdwfp-hunters-ed-classes.aspx