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Bart Harmeling
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3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The recent thread "arrow speed with trad equipment/ free muskoxhunt " contains some discussion about requirements including a shooting competency test. I decided to open a new thread to discuss the IBEP certification as it is much more than a shooting competency test.

A little history. In 1983 the AK Dept of Fish and Game opened a urban hunt for the Hillside area of Anchorage. This was a registration hunt and therefore anyone could sign up and hunt. The results where disastrous both for the goals of the hunt and for the public image of bowhunters. Hunters with no experience shooting a bow rushed to local sporting goods stores and purchased bows. The hunt was characterized as an invasion of como clothed hunters walking though back yards, gut piles left on drive ways, and moose trotting down streets with field tipped arrows bouncing from their bodies. This of course resulted in a terrible public image of bowhunting. There has never been another archery hunt on the Hillside and there probably never will be, and bowhunting in general came under attack.

In response to a call for increased hunter education the State of AK implemented the IBEP in 1987, and all hunts that were exclusive to bow and arrow would require hunters to have completed this program.

(to be continued)
 

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Bart Harmeling
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3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So what is the IBEP?

The International Bowhunter Education Program is available in all 50 states and 13 countries. It is required by 15 states and provinces.

The program has 2 components. The first component is the classroom based bowhunter education course which is offered in a real classroom setting or as an online course. Participation and a passing a written test are required. Here is what the course covers.

Introduction to bowhunting
Wild life conservation
Safe and responsible bowhunting
Know your bow and arrow
Preparation for the hunt
Elevated stands and other bowhunting techniques
Shot placement and recovery
Outdoor preparedness

The second component is the field section. Students demonstrate the ability to estimate range, shot placement, shoot proficiently, blood trail, and tree stand installation. This is were the proficiency test is required. Four 3D targets are placed in an area that matches true hunting situations. Range varies from 12 to 28 yds with at least one of the targets being shot from an elevated position. Some shots are required to be taken from a kneeling position. Some targets are positioned so they are quartering away from the shooter. Students shoot 2 arrows at each target from separate positions. They must select the correct shot placement and the arrow must hit as to pass through the kill zone of the 3D target. Minimum passing score is 6 or 8 shots, and you can't miss twice on any given target.

The blood trail is fun. A course is laid out using synthetic blood made of food coloring, Karo syrup, and water. Students must follow the trail of blood spray, drops, and smears to kind their quarry. I did this with Marines once. They were really good.

Students with special needs are accommodated, and the instructors can retest at their discretion.

Upon completion the student receives a certification card that is good for their lifetime. I used my card to hunt an exclusive archery only station in Australia.
 
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