uestion: I'd like to try some cottontail rabbit hunting but hear they may carry some kind of disease. Is this true? If so, is this anything to be concerned about and what precautions should I take? Jeff J., Stockton
Answer: You might be referring to "tularemia," a bacterial disease that wild rabbits occasionally carry. To be safe, hunters should wear latex gloves when field dressing rabbits to minimize exposure. Be sure to properly cool the animal after dressing it, and always cook it thoroughly. Tularemia is named after the place where it was discovered Tulare.
Q: What hunter education requirements are there for a learning disabled hunter. I know a child with severe dyslexia to the point where he is only able to read and write very basic sentences. He could easily pass the hunter education exam if he could read it. But I don't think that will be possible for some time. Is there an exception for such people? Can someone read the test questions to him? He wants to hunt but this is standing in his way. Steven C.
A: We provide reasonable accommodations for all entitled students. Anyone with a disability can ask the DFG for reasonable accommodation and it will be provided, taking into consideration that person's needs. Lt. James Kasper, our lead Hunter Education instructor, recommends that the parent, guardian or mentor contact the the DFG before taking the course to ask about accommodations.
The key to success for any student is to study for the hunter education exam and tailoring that study to their own learning approach. Here are a few resources:
Get the hunter education manual in advance and work with a partner to complete chapter reviews.
In addition to the manual, get the workbook and answer the questions. Both the manual and the workbook can be obtained from an instructor or from a local DFG office.
Use a DFG-approved home study online course. The Web sites are: www.hunter-ed.com/ california/ or www.huntercourse.com/usa/ California/ or www.ihea.com/ hunter-education/online-courses.php.
The Today's Hunter in California (www.hunter-ed. com/ca/) site belongs to the same company that makes the hunter education manuals used in California, so the material is very similar. The site has California-specific information and good animations. Second, HunterCourse.com (www.huntercourse.com/usa/ california/) is an especially good site for students without strong reading skills, because it incorporates more visual learning tools. These sites do not charge for using them unless the person wants to print out a voucher. Also, contact the DFG's Tina Johnson at (916) 651-1214.
Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. Contact her at CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.