Fall hunting season might not be your mind yet, but the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wants to remind hunters it is never too early to sign up for a course.

The firearms safety class offers 12 hours of classroom work. Each student must then complete and pass a field day test where they must demonstrate safety practices. The DNR also offers the 12-hour program through an online course. The field day exercise is still required for those who take the course through their website.

DNR education program coordinator Jon Paurus said in a press release, "Today's students are computer savvy, so online training is just part of the DNR's evolving firearms safety education program." The department's website keeps a list of upcoming classroom courses.

Parurus added, "Many people fail to consider enrolling in a course until the weather turns cool in late September. Unfortunately, most courses have either begun or are full by then, and the opportunity to hunt during the fall may be diminished."

Anyone born since 1980 is generally required to have a firearms certificate to hunt with a firearm in Minnesota. Also, any student interested in joining a high school trap shooting team must take the DNR safety course.