With large and small game hunting seasons well underway in many areas of Wyoming, officials with Wyoming Game and Fish are championing what they say is a “try before you buy” option for those thinking about getting into the sport of hunting.

Robin Kepple, an information officer with Wyoming Game and Fish, says the state’s hunter-mentor program is a great way for novice hunters and newcomers to gain field experience prior to signing up for a required, state-sponsored hunter education program.

Sometimes people aren’t able to get into a class, or they’re not certain they’re going to like hunting,” Kepple said. “So, a person can sign up with a mentor, and the mentor ensures the hunter is being safe, and they can actually go out and hunt prior to taking a hunter safety course.”

Kepple says, though the program allows potential hunters to abstain from taking a hunter safety course for one full hunting season, individuals taking part in the hunter-mentor program still must obtain all proper credentials prior to starting their hunt with a mentor.

Even if you’re enrolled in the hunter-mentor program, you still need to follow all regulations, all policies, all procedures for legally hunting in Wyoming,” Kepple said.

Kepple says the program has been in place since 2008.

For more information, contact Wyoming Game and Fish's Casper office at (307) 473-3400, or visit the Wyoming Game and Fish website.