Taking aim in the training simulator
If you don’t count the air conditioning, the big draw inside the DNR building is the Hunter’s Education booth. Indiana’s Conservation Officers man the booth. It’s the most popular display with the kids for good reason. It’s pretty much a large video game.
There are two video projectors that have real images of deer in the woods. The kids take turns with full-size rifles (not real) that have sensors on them, and it shows you on the screen exactly where you hit the deer. After the shot the screen cycles to another scenario. The scenarios help teach kids when they have a safe shot and when they don’t.
If the officers didn’t take a lunch break, I wouldn’t have been able to squeeze my way into the training simulator. They shut down for an hour at lunch. The number of kids hanging around the simulator has been huge everyday during the fair.
Once I finally got my turn, I was ready to start knocking off the deer left and right. The first deer appears…BANG…right on the money. Or so I thought. I was wide left. Next deer appears…BANG…right on the money. Wrong, I was wide left again. The woman who helps run the booth said the gun needed to be calibrated. I, of course, knew that because I am a much better shot than what I saw.
After I compensated for the crooked gun, I began to mow those deer down like they were my backyard and I was a John Deere. There are, of course, bag limits in real life. Check out the hunting guide for more on that.
I mention kids throughout the story, but really anyone, regardless of age, would benefit from knowing more about hunting safety.
As far as video games go, the Wii has nothing on the DNR training simulator.