Welcome to MN FAS

As certified instructors of the MN DNR firearms and hunter safety program, we provide an exciting and fun, hands-on classroom experience that will be remembered for a lifetime by each student.

Three Basic Rules

Treat each firearm as if it were loaded.

Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.

Be sure of your target and what is beyond.

Current weather

MN - Minneapolis, Flying Cloud Airport

  • Overcast
  • Temperature: 33.8 °F, feels like 28.5 °F
  • Wind: East-Southeast, 5.8 mph
  • Sunrise: 7:40am
  • Sunset: 5:14pm
Reported on:
Tue, 01/27/2015 - 10:53am

As instructors, our goals are many and are based upon the expectations of our students.  We provide the basics of safe and responsible handling of firearms and hunter’s etiquette and ethics to our students.  Each student completing this course takes on the obligation to practice and perfect what they have learned.

Read Pages: REVIEW 13-111, pay special attention to all bold words in the text.

Notice to Parents:

A Parent's Night is planned for the evening of August 27th.  Please join us so your student can show you what they have learned in the class.  A discussion regarding the Range Test will also be included that evening.  Plan on attending the class at about 8:00 for the rest of the evening.


Students must be at class by 6:30.

Attendance is a required part of the class in order to obtain certification.  Leaving an e-mail after noon on the day of class is not considered prior notice.  Contact Don, at boothdonl@yahoo.com with questions.

A class at the Minnetonka Sportsmen Club is something new for us and we hope you take advantage of the opportunity.  For the last decade plus, we have conducted classes in Chaska that have earned a reputation of an extensive hands-on firearms safety training.  With the availability of access to the grounds at the Minnetonka Sportsmen Club facility, we intend to continue our hands-on training, but will also be able to go outside for the practice and learning.

Bob, Ricky and I are excited as you come into our classroom filled with energy to learn and have fun.  We have many things planned for the class and a lot of information will flow through our website.  With this in mind, you should bookmark www.mnfas.com as a favorite. 

The safety on any firearm is an important device, not just a push button near the trigger.  It is a mechanical device intended to prevent the unintentional discharge of ammunition intentionally placed in the firearm’s chamber.  This does not mean that a safety’s purpose is guaranteed, so you should never rely on a safety to keep a firearm from firing.

In amongst all the handling of firearms our students do, being able to location and operate a safety is something expected.  A fair amount of firearms has a button near the trigger that operates as the safety.  If it is pushed one way, generally it will show some degree of red, meaning that is the position the safety must be in when the shooter is intending to squeeze the trigger.  Other firearms may have a slide button of some sort and will show an “S” when in one position and when moved will show a red dot or otherwise cover up the “S.”  While the color red will always mean the safety is off and the firearm is ready to fire, on the slide type safety, seeing the “S” indicates the safety is on.

Going over expectations and activities.

Tree stand safety.

Shooting at the .22 range.

Steady aim with a 7mm Mag rifle.

By Tom Dickson, DNR information officer

If you don't hunt, you might wonder what's so appealing about this activity. Why, for example, would anyone sit for hours in a chilly duck blind? Or trudge mile after mile through soggy cattail sloughs? And what's the thrill in trying to kill an animal, anyway? If hunters want to be outdoors and see animals, can't they just watch wildlife without shooting them?

Hunting, with a half-million Minnesota participants, must certainly stir the curiosity of those who don't take part.

Why someone hunts is a personal matter. Many do it to spend time outdoors with friends or family. Others hunt to continue a tradition passed down from their parents and grandparents. Some go for the satisfaction of providing their own meat or the challenge of outwitting a wild animal. Many hunt simply because they feel an urge to do so. As environmentalist and hunter Aldo Leopold put it, "the instinct that finds delight in the sight and pursuit of game is bred into the very fiber of the race."

[Here is a great story that has circulated the internet for years, but has never been proven to be true or a hoax.  It really doesn’t matter.]

I had this idea that I could rope a deer. The first step in this adventure was getting a deer. I figured since they congregate at my cattle feeder in the pasture on the other side of town, it would be an ideal location to try.  Especially since the deer do not seem afraid of me when I am there (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not 4 feet away).   I figured it shouldn’t be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its head (to calm it down) before letting it go free.

I filled the cattle feeder then hid down at the end with my rope. The cattle, having seen the roping thing before, stayed well back. They were not having any of it. After about 20 minutes, three deer showed up. I picked out a likely looking one, stepped out from the end of the feeder, and threw my rope. The deer just stood there and stared at me. I wrapped the rope around my waist and twisted the end so I would have a good hold.

Late one evening I was wondering to myself, “what would our wildlife be like without the controls of the department of natural resources?”  The easy answer, of course, is to say that nature will take care of itself and everything would be just great.  That, however, is not true for at least one major reason; mankind.

Since the time Christopher Columbus discovered America, our country has changed drastically and the habitat of wild animals has changed just as much.  People are able to adapt quickly, especially to changes created by them, but that’s not the same with animals, and as history has shown, man has not been kind to animals.  In the mid-1800’s buffalo herds consisting of thousands of animals roamed a better part of the Midwestern plains.  The demand for buffalo hides for clothing resulted in excessive hunting by large groups of men in an effort to make money quickly.  It wasn’t long before the thundering herds of buffalo were almost extinct.

Do our students benefit from hands on training?  Bob and I have prided ourselves on our classroom interactivity of having real firearms available to students to pick up, inspect and learn about.  We have always felt it to be one of the most important aspects of learning firearms safety in our classes.  But does it make a difference?

We got our answer one Saturday last spring.  In between the spattering of rains Bob and I headed to the Minnetonka Sportsmen’s range to enjoy a bit of shooting.  One of the reasons for the trip to the range was to bring a young friend there so he could shoot ‘big bore’ rifles for the first time.  Coincidentally, this young friend had recently completed a Firearms’ Safety class successfully, but was limited on his range day to shooting a .22 rifle and a shotgun. He had expressed an interest in doing some shooting with the big guns (maybe he meant Bob and I?), so we headed to the rifle range right away.

I made a disrespectful error last night and I am offering my apology.  Last night was the first class of this season and it was not only challenging for the students, but for us, the instructors as well.

In hindsight though, it went quite well considering our new electronics and a new room layout that required a lot of adjustments.  However, in the last few minutes of class time, I made a comment to parents that had snuck into the back of the class, meant as a humorous, but polite reminder to the parents, that our classroom policies ask that parents not registered as students wait outside of the classroom until the students are dismissed.  To any parent that may have found this comment offensive, I apologize.  As we discussed in class, respect towards others is an overriding theme to ensure the future of shooting and hunting sports.  A sportsperson’s disrespectfulness will affect the opinions of many more people than the expected, respectful attitude.  It is far from my intention to be a bad example of a sportsman. 

The reputation of my old Model ‘94 Winchester 30-30 lever action lives on.  Over the years in which I have used the old ’94 for deer hunting, it’s reputation as being a point and shoot rifle has been well established and this last season the old ’94 once again proved it has mystical powers of accuracy.  To clarify a bit, I have always maintained that if I point the rifle at a deer, when I pull the trigger the old ’94 will assure the bullet finds the deer.  A bit of history about the rifle goes a long way in verifying it’s reputation.

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Rick covers some Range Rules

2014 class schedule

Mound Class: 

Registration date: July 16th.

Classes: July 23rd, 30th, August 6th, 13th, 20th,  and 27th, Range Test August 30th and final test September 3rd.

Hunting regulations