Participation in an Arizona Game and Fish Hunter Education course can pay big dividends.
Adults who enroll, completing the course will result in earning a bonus point for the state's big game tag lottery system.
"That gives the hunter an extra opportunity to be drawn for a tag," chief hunter education course instructor Jim Young said.
For youngsters between the ages of 10 and 14, successfully completing one of the courses is mandatory before participating in Arizona's big game hunts.
The students in the courses usually are split evenly -- about one-half adults and the other half 10 to 14 years, Young said.
Young has been teaching the classes for about 15 years and deems them crucial in the development of fledgling hunters.
The next course will begin at 6 p.m., Oct. 4, at Payson Elementary School. Additional classes will be held Oct. 6, 11 and 13 at PES.
The course wraps up with a "range day" session from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Tonto Rim Sports Club located south of Payson. During range day, class participants will be given .22 caliber single shot rifles for target practice.
During class sessions, the students learn proper safety techniques, outdoor survival and state hunting rules and regulations.
"We will have a wildlife officer come in and explain all the laws to them," Young said.
Registration fee for the class is $7 which includes the ammunition used on range day.
For more information or to register for the course, call Young at (928) 472-8543.