So here is where we stand in AZ at this moment. We are still in a Stage 1 status concerning Covid-19 as far as our Hunter Education portion of the Department. Holding a class like the NRS Class that Don typically hosts in January and April/May is not allowed at this time.
As far as fulfilling the Field Day requirement, NRS Class students actually have been doing that for the past several years with the outdoor practical portion of the class and the indoor simulated hunt laser rifle handling and shoot / don't shoot portion of the class. We wrote that into the course to comply with a mandate from the State AG in order to issue an Arizona Hunter Education Course Completion Certification (Hunter Ed Card) & the Permanent Hunter Education Bonus Point that is earned with it.
There's a long back story about how the Hunter Ed Bonus Point came to be and the creation of the one day Nonresident Supplemental Course (NRS) to enable out-of-state hunters to obtain it, suffice to say it had nothing to do with luring students to AZ for a one day class so the state could enjoy a pay day, while I will agree that is a consequence of travel to and from the class.
Anyone who has attended the NRS Class in the past would attest to the value of the information packed into the all day affair. Our evaluation forms come back 100% positive and all attendee suggestions are noted, considered and submitted to the Branch for evaluation. Those of us who have and do put on the class are proud of the product and the information we can share with our nonresident hunters in their quest to draw a permit. Folk on MM, especially WapitiBob, often attest to it.
The Bonus Point Field Test was created to make a field test component compatible with our online courses that would allow a graduate to get that PHEBP in about an hour, but still has to be done in AZ and conducted by AZ Certified HE Instructors. You're not going to get all the info shared in the NRS Class, but you'll get the point. The BPFT our instructor team puts on at the TriState Shooting Park in Ft Mohave, AZ provides some opportunities for suggestions about units and "brain-picking" about draw strategies, but nothing like the twice a year NRS held in Golden Valley at the Mohave Sportsman's Club.
When we get back to actually holding Field Days ( which may be soon-ish), there will be a priority to get the backlog of 1130 youth between 9 & 13 who've completed the online course their Field Day first. The adult groups who are seeking the BP are going to be behind that block of students at the start.
There may be a wrinkle for NR & Resident adults coming in the summer of 2021, emphasis on the the word "may"...stay tuned.
By the way, Don and I emailed back and forth a couple weeks back and he is fine. He caught his largest ever personal Striped Bass this summer on Lake Mead and as one of Arizona's longest operating guide and outfitters, he is very busy this fall with hunts around the state. He looks forward to seeing you all in the NRS Class as soon as he's green lighted to hold them again.
Good luck to you all this fall and winter on your hunts!
Jim Rich AZGFD VHET CI Mohave Valley, AZ