Instructor-led Bowhunter Education Proficiency Shoot and Blood Trailing Exercise
All applicants for bowhunter education certification must successfully complete a standardized proficiency shoot and blood trailing exercise. All students must provide their own archery equipment. It is recommended that the student use the bow they intend to hunt with during the proficiency shoot. There is no minimum bow weight required to take the proficiency shoot, however, students must be knowledgeable about the current minimum draw weight requirements to hunt Class I & II big game in Alaska.
During the required proficiency shoot, a course will be set up with eight different shooting stations (two stations at each of four 3-D targets). Students will use field tips only, NO BROADHEADS. The student will be asked to shoot from both kneeling and standing positions. The shooting proficiency will also require a student to estimate range and identify the vital zones of various big game animals. Students will be allowed to use a rangefinder during the proficiency shoot as it's a legal piece of equipment and can be a valuable aid to any hunter, however they cannot share this information with any other student. Archery shooting proficiency shall be demonstrated by the student taking eight shots at four 3-D targets. The student must make five out of the eight shots in the vitals (heart, lung, liver). The student must make at least one vital shot on each of the four target animals and a double kill shot on one. Students with disabilities will not be required to kneel. Students shooting traditional and compound bows will be held to the same minimum standards (10-30 yards). These requirements are based on realistic distances that all archers would encounter in the field.
The blood trailing exercise is designed to emphasize the importance for bowhunters of understanding how to blood trail. Volunteer instructors will lead the class on a simulated blood trail, and this exercise will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis.
Regardless of the shooting skills demonstrated, a disruptive or unsportsmanlike attitude by a student during any portion of the shooting proficiency may result in a failing grade being assigned by the instructor. If you fail the proficiency shoot, you may, at the discretion of the instructor, retake the entire proficiency shoot that day, but only after everyone else has shot. Past experience has shown that students who show up unprepared will likely fail the proficiency shoot - it is imperative that you practice, practice, practice before taking the course. If the student does not successfully complete all portions of the course, they must re-take the entire course.