Area residents will have an opportunity to learn basic principles of safe hunting at a Department of Natural Resources hunter safety course scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5-6.

It will be held at the Naaman Diehl Auditorium at the back of the Farm Bureau building in Mount Carroll, northwest of the intersection of Illinois 64-78.

Shooting instruction with shotguns and bow and arrow will be given after the test on Sunday at Van's Shooting Club, 8989 VanBuskirk Rd., Mount Carroll.

The two-day class will be offered from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday. Class size is limited and participants must pre-register by calling 815-493-2601 by Oct. 2. If there is no answer, those who want to be registered must leave a message with their name and a call-back number.

State law requires that all hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1980, successfully complete the hunter education course before they can receive their first hunting license. In addition, people who want to hunt in other states are often required to complete the course regardless of age. Those completing the hunter education course receive a Hunter Education Certification card verifying they have passed the course.

"This will be an excellent opportunity for hunters who need the course in order to qualify for their hunting license," DNR Master Instructor Clark VanBuskirk said. "It can be beneficial for both beginning and advanced hunters, even those born before Jan. 1, 1980."

The minimum ten-hour course includes instruction in wildlife management, firearms safety, hunter ethics, game identification, first aid, survival techniques and regulations.

The class is sponsored by the Carroll County Pheasants Forever chapter and Van's Country Sports Store and Shooting Club. For more information, call VanBuskirk at 815-493-2601.