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Hunter Education Instructor Butch Chase leads a group of Floyd Dryden Middle School students Tuesday on a field exercise of spotting animals and when to shoot or when not to shoot. The three-day class this week focussed on outdoors survival skills as well as hunter education and firearm safety. Other components of the class included instruction on how to read a compass, and how to interpret and use a topographical map. This is a program taught every year in local middle schools. Now in its 10th year at Floyd Dryden, Principal Tom Milliron said the main purpose of the program is to make sure all kids know the basics of gun safety, which he said is crucial in a state such as Alaska, where many families own firearms. Students took the firearm safety test Thursday.
The program is supported in part by the local branch of the Univeristy of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension, the Juneau 4-H Youth and Family Development Program, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game and the Taku River Sportsmens' Association.