Online course free, correspondence no longer offered
PRATT — Persons desiring to hunt or trap Kansas furbearing animals are anxiously awaiting the 2010 season opener – noon Wednesday, Nov. 17. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP reminds individuals preparing for the opener that Kansas law requires anyone born on or after July 1, 1966, to successfully complete a KDWP-approved furharvester education course before purchasing a furharvester license to hunt, run, or trap furbearers or trap coyotes on lands other than their own. The same license required to take furbearers is required to sell their pelts.

The Kansas furbearer season — for badger, bobcat, mink, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, red fox, swift fox, gray fox, striped skunk and weasel — is noon Nov. 17 through Feb. 15, 2011. (Beaver trapping season runs through March 31, 2011.) A furharvester license is required. Furbearers cannot be killed or taken during the running season.

The Kansas furharvester education course is offered in two formats: traditional instructor-led or online. The instructor-led course offers students a comprehensive manual, regulations, and advanced furharvesting publications. A limited number of instructor-led courses are offered throughout the year.

The free online course replaces the formerly-offered correspondence course and is proving the more popular of the two formats. It can be accessed through the “Other Services/Education” link at or at Students begin the course by creating a unique username and password that permits access to the Kansas furharvester course. The online course requires students to work through a series of lessons teaching ethical and responsible furharvesting techniques, trap selection and maintenance, and proper handling of harvested furbearers. Lessons discussing running hounds, hunting predators with and without hounds, field trials, night hunts, and predator calling are also presented.

Quiz questions are presented throughout the course. Students must complete each lesson in sequence before moving to the next lesson or the final exam. Achieving a final exam score of 84 percent or better is required to receive the official Furharvester Education Certificate of Competency required by Kansas law and accepted by other states.

For complete furharvesting regulation information, consult the 2010 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary, available wherever licenses are sold or online at the KDWP website under “Hunting/Hunting Regulations.”