Hunter Education Requirements

United States | Canada

United States
Alabama
Anyone born on or after August 1, 1977 must show proof of completing a Hunter Education course prior to purchasing a hunting license except active duty U.S. military personnel, Alabama residents who are active members of the National Guard of the United States, and persons certified by the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission as law enforcement officers who are employed by a law enforcement agency. The Wildlife Heritage Act of 2007 provided a mentor provision for hunter education. Hunting license buyers now have the option to hunt under the "supervision required" status in lieu of passing the hunter education course. Hunters under supervision MUST be under normal voice control, not to exceed 30 feet away from a properly licensed hunter 21 years of age or older. Under no circumstance shall the supervising person be the holder of a "supervision required" license.
Alaska
Hunter Education Certification is required for young hunters in Units 7, 13, 14, 15, and 20. If you are under 16 years of age, you must have either successfully completed a Basic Hunter Education course or be under the direct immediate supervision of a licensed hunter who is (a) 16 years of age or older and has successfully completed a certified hunter education course, OR (b) born on or before January 1, 1986. If you are 16 years of age or older AND were born after January 1, 1986 you must have successfully completed a Certified Hunter Education Course before you can hunt. In addition, all hunters must complete a Hunter Education Certification class before hunting in these areas: Eagle River Management Area for black bear & small game, Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge, Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge if under age 15 or be accompanied by an adult, Palmer/Wasilla Management area (shotgun for big game), and all army military lands. Hunters in weapons restricted areas (archery, muzzleloading, or shotgun) must complete a state-approved certification course for that weapon. Weapons certification does not satisfy general Hunter Education Certification requirements and visa versa.
Arizona
Hunter Education graduation is required for 10 to 14 year-olds who wish to hunt big game.
Arkansas
It is unlawful for persons born after 1968 to hunt wildlife without having on the person a valid Arkansas hunter education certification. EXCEPTIONS: (1) Youths Hunting under direct supervision of an adult at least 21 years of age. (2) Persons possessing a valid hunting license/permit displaying the dealer imprinted code DHE (Code 01.00C, Deferred Hunter Education). Requirements for a person to be eligible to hunt with DHE-coded licenses/permits are as follows: (a)Be at least 16 years of age and born after 1968 and not hunter-education certified. (b)Be in the immediate presence of an adult hunter who is at least 21 years of age and possesses valid hunter education certification, or who was born before 1969. (c)A DHE-validated hunting license/permit may be obtained once in a lifetime. (d)Not eligble if convicted of prior violation of this regulation. (3) Any person who has successfully completed a state approved hunter education training course and has on his person a valid hunter education certificate issued by another state or province. PENALTY: $50 to $1,000
California
All hunting license buyers must have either a CA license, a hunting license from another state that is not more than 2 hunting years old, or H/E certification from CA or another state or province.
Colorado
Required of anyone born on or after January 1, 1949 to purchase any hunting or trapping license.
Connecticut
Firearms Hunting: Certificate required of all persons regardless of age who have not held a resident firearms license in the past five years or for a first time licensee. Bowhunting: Connecticut Advanced Bowhunter Education Certificate or its equivalent (NBEF/IBEP content) from another state required for all archery permit applicants. Previous resident bowhunting license does not qualify.
Delaware
All persons born after Jan. 1, 1967, must satisfactorily complete a Hunter Education course before obtaining a Delaware Hunting License.
Florida
Hunter Education is required of all persons born on or after June 1, 1975.
Hawaii
To purchase a Hunting License you must have completed an approved Hunter Education course. A "Letter of Exemption" can be issued if you were born "before" January 1, 1972, and can provide proof of a "Hawaii" hunting license purchased before July 1, 1990.
Georgia
Residents and non-residents born on or after Jan.1, 1961, must successfully complete a hunter education course before purchasing a season hunting license. However, a hunter education course is not required to purchase a one (1) day or seven (7) day hunting license. Hunters age 12-15 must complete a hunter education course before hunting unless under supervision of a licensed adult hunter. Hunters age 12-15 must be under adult supervision while hunting on a WMA. Hunters under age 12 are not required to complete a hunter education course, unless hunting on National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs), or Park Services lands, children 10-16 must carry a valid hunter safety certificate. Hunter education is not required to hunt on one's own land or land of a parent or guardian.
Idaho
To purchase a hunting license you must have completed an approved Hunter Education course if you were born after January 1, 1975.
Illinois
To purchase a hunting license you must have completed an approved Hunter Education course if you were born on or after January 1, 1980.
Indiana
Born after December 31, 1986
Iowa
To purchase a hunting license you must have completed an approved Hunter Education course if you were born after January 1, 1972
Kansas
Anyone born on or after July 1, 1957 must successfully complete a certified hunter education course in order to hunt in Kansas
Kentucky
All hunters born after Jan. 1, 1975, shall have a valid hunter education card IN POSSESSION WHILE HUNTING. A card is not needed for purchase. Exceptions: 1) Children under 12 may hunt without a card if accompanied by an adult. 2) Persons exempt from a hunting license are also exempt from hunter education card requirements (i.e., landowners; military on furlough). 3) Persons with a Hunter Education Exemption Permit may hunt without a card while accompanied by a legal adult hunter.
Louisiana
Any person born on or after Sept. 01, 1969 must have proof of completion of a hunter education course to hunt in the State of Louisiana. Except, a person may hunt without hunter education if they are under the direct supervision of a person born before Sept. 1, 1969 who has a valid hunting license or under the direct supervision of a person 18 years of age or older who has proof of successful completion of a hunter education course. Minimum age for certification is 10 year of age.
Maine
Applicant for an adult hunting license must show proof of having previously held an adult license to hunt with firearms in any year beginning with 1976 or successful completion of an approved hunter safety course from this or any other state. To obtain an adult archery hunting license, you must show proof of having held an adult license to hunt with bow and arrow in any year after 1979 or successful completeion of an archery education course. To obtain a crossbow permit, you must complete crossbow education or have proof of having hunted in another state that allowed crossbow use.
Maryland
To purchase a hunting license you must have completed an approved Hunter Education course unless you hunted prior to July 1, 1977. Three day non-resident waterfowl hunters are exempted.
Massachusetts
It shall be unlawful for any resident or non-resident to hunt for any bird or mammal in the commonwealth unless such person has successfully completed a hunter education course as prescribed by this section, or unless such person held a license to hunt before January 1, 2007.
Michigan
You must take hunter safety if you were born after January 1, 1960. A hunter safety certificate or previous hunting license is required to purchase any Michigan Hunting License. Hunters anticipating an out-of-state hunting trip need to obtain a certificate prior to their trip, most states require hunters to carry their certificate when hunting and need it to purchase a license. * Michigan also offers the Mentored Youth Hunting program for individuals under the age of 10.
Minnesota
Hunter Education is required of all persons born after December 31, 1979 in order to purchase a big or small game hunting license.
Mississippi
Hunter Education is mandatory for all persons born on or after January 1, 1972, and plans to purchase a Mississippi hunting license. Also, anyone 12-15 years old must have a certificate of satisfactory completion of a hunter education course approved by the department before hunting alone in this state. Anyone under the age of 12 must be in the presence and under the direct supervision of a licensed or exempt hunter at least 21 years of age when the child is hunting.
Missouri
Any person 16 years of age or older, those born on or after January 1, 1967 shall obtain and display an approved Hunter Education certificate card prior to purchase of any firearms hunting permit. Minimum age is 11 to be certified by the Missouri Hunter Education course, youth under 16 must provide birth certificate as proof of age at course. *EXEMPTIONS: Youth under 16 are not required to be hunter education certified if: both resident and non-resident youth under 16 hunt in the immediate presence of a Hunter Education Certified adult mentor 18 years of age or older or age exempt mentor (born before January 1, 1967), no minimum age to hunt for small game, minimum age of 6 for deer and turkey. Both resident and non-resident youth may purchase deer and turkey permits at a much reduced cost, small game may be hunted without permit. Adult resident and non-resident hunters can purchase an Apprentice Hunter Authorization (good for 1 full year) with their permits and then hunt in the immediate presence of a properly licensed adult mentor hunter 18 years of age or older or age exempt mentor (can do this for two years maximum); Resident hunters 16 and older with a developmental disability as outlined by section 630.005, RSMo and fail to successfully pass the hunter education course, may apply for an exemption to always hunt in the immediate presence of an properly licensed adult hunter. Resident landowners hunting on their own property only, with a landowner permit (landowners mentoring those not eligible to hunt on a landowner permit must have Hunter Education.) Anyone born before January 1, 1967.
Montana
Effective Oct. 1, 2003, anyone born after Jan. 1, 1985 must have a hunter ed card to purchase a Montana hunting license. We honor cards from all states and provinces.
Nebraska
Hunter Education all Hunters, age 12 through age 29, must have on their person, proof of completion of Firearm Hunter Education while hunting with either a firearm or air gun. Hunters, age 12 through age 29, hunting deer, antelope, elk or mountain sheep with bow and arrow or crossbow must carry proof of completion of Bow Hunter Education. Apprentice Hunter Education Exemption Certificate - Hunters age 12 through age 29 who have NOT completed a Firearm Hunter and or Bow Hunter Education course and want to give hunting a try, under limited conditions, may obtain an “apprentice hunter education exemption certificate” from the Commission. This exemption is to provide the novice hunter an opportunity to try hunting and receive training from an experienced hunter prior to making the commitment of completion of the required hunter education training, so - A hunter using an ”apprentice exemption” must be accompanied at all times while hunting. This “apprentice exemption” can only be obtained once in each persons life time, expires on December 31st of the year obtained and may be renewed only once. The fee is $5. In Nebraska any firearm or air gun hunter under age 12,or those hunters age 12 through age 29 using an apprentice hunter education exemption certificate, must be accompanied at all times while hunting. Accompanied is defined as: in the presence of a licensed “experienced” hunter age 19 or older, if that hunter is age 19 through age 29 they must carry on thier person proof they have completed the hunter/bowhunter education course. There can be no more than 2 hunters under age 12 or using an “apprentice exemption” accompanied by the “experienced” hunter at any time and the “experienced” hunter must at all times be in unaided visual and verbal communication with the child under age 12 and or the “apprentice” hunter age 12 through age 29. Please note that all hunters must also purchase and have on their person any and all required permits, licenses and stamps while hunting in addition to meeting the hunter education requirements.
Nevada
Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1960, must show proof of Hunter Education each time they purchase a hunting license. Proof of Hunter Education is: An official original or duplicate Hunter Education certificate, or a past year's hunting license with a Hunter Education number or unique mark verifying Hunter Education.
New Hampshire
To purchase a hunting license you must have completed an approved Hunter Education course, or provide proof that you have previously held a hunting license in any state or province. Hunters and trapers in New Hamshire must attend training courses specific to the license type they wish to purchase. By state law, anyone planning to buy a basic hunting license, archery license or trapping license must complete the respective hunter, bowhunter or trapper education course. Individuals may purchase each of these licenses by showing a certificate of completion from the appropriate course, or a previously issued license of the same type.
New Jersey
Hunter Education is mandatory for all first-time firearms hunters. Students 10 to 15 years of age are issued a free youth license, which includes a pheasant stamp, upon completion of the course. While hunting, youths ages 10 to 13 must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult 21 years of age or older. If you lose your hunting or trapping license and had never taken a hunter education course, you must also take one of these courses.
New Mexico
Hunter Education is required of persons under the age of 18 prior to hunting with a firearm, purchasing or applying for a firearms hunting license. Bowhunter Education is not mandatory, but is highly recommened.
New York
All hunters, regardless of age, are required to present either a hunter education certificate or a previous hunting license to qualify for a license.
North Carolina
On or after July 1, 2013, a person, regardless of age, may not purchase a hunting license in North Carolina without producing one of the following: a hunter education certificate of competency, a NC hunting heritage apprentice permit, or a NC hunting license issued prior to July 1, 2013.
North Dakota
All persons born after 1961 shall submit or exhibit a certificate of successful completion of a hunter education course before purchasing any hunting license. A certificate of completion for the same course of study issued by other states, provinces or countries is valid in North Dakota.
Ohio
To purchase a hunting license you must have completed an approved Hunter Education course or present evidence of having previously held a hunting license.
Oklahoma
http://www.wildlifedepartment.com/regs/apprentice.pdf
Oregon
All persons under 18 years of age must possess prove of hunter education while hunting any species by any means, except when hunting on own property or parent's property. Proof of hunter education is carry a hunter education certificate or having hunter education certification printed on a valid hunting license.
Pennsylvania
To purchase a hunting license you must complete an approved Hunter Education course, if you have not held a hunting license in this Commonwealth or another state or nation.
Rhode Island
To purchase a hunting license you must have completed an approved Hunter Education course unless you present evidence of holding a prior years Rhode Island license.
South Carolina
All residents and nonresidents born after June 30, 1979, must successfully complete a hunter education course that is approved by the Department of Natural Resources before a hunting license can be obtained.
South Dakota
To purchase a hunting license you must have completed an approved Hunter Education Course if you are under the age of 16.
Tennessee
If born on or after Jan 1, 1969, must have proof of successfully completing a hunter education course.
Texas
Every hunter (including out-of-state hunters) born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, must successfully complete a Hunter Education Training Course. Minimum age of certification is 12 years and cost is $15. If you were born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, and you are: • under 12 years of age, you must be accompanied*. • age 12 through 16, you must successfully complete a hunter education course or be accompanied*. • age 17 and over, you must successfully complete a hunter education course; or purchase a “Hunter Education Deferral” and be accompanied**. Hunter Education Deferral (cost: $10) – Allows a person 17 years of age or older who has not completed a hunter education program to defer completion for up to one year. A deferral may only be obtained once and is only valid until the end of the current license year. A person who has been convicted or has received deferred adjudication for violation of the mandatory hunter education requirement is prohibited from applying for a deferral. Take the course by August 31 of the current license year and receive a $5 discount. **Accompanied means: By a person (resident or non-resident) who is at least 17, who is licensed to hunt in Texas, who has passed hunter education or is exempt (born before Sept. 2, 1971), and you must be within normal voice control, (Preferrably within physical control). Proof of certification or deferral is required to be on your person while hunting. Note: Certification is NOT required to purchase a hunting license. Note: Bowhunter education does NOT substitute for Hunter Education certification.
Utah
A person born after December 31, 1965, may not purchase a hunting license or permit unless proof is presented to the Division or one of its authorized wildlife license agents that the person has passed a Division-approved hunter education course offered by a state, province or country.
Vermont
An applicant for a hunting license must present either a previous or current hunting license from any state or Canadian province, or a certificate or letter of proof showing satisfactory completion of an approved hunter or firearms safety course from Vermont or any other state or province, or other satisfactory proof of prior license or hunter/firearms safety certification.
Virginia
To purchase a hunting license you must have completed an approved Hunter Education course if you are twelve to fifteen years of age, or sixteen and over and have never held a license to hunt. Hunter Education is not required for those purchasing an apprentice license, but they must be accompanied and supervised by a licensed adult. Likewise, those under 12 must be accompanied and supervised by a licensed adult.
Washington
All first-time hunters purchasing their first Washington license and who are born after 1/1/72
West Virginia
A hunting license may not be issued to any person who was born on or after Jan. 1, 1975, unless the person submits to the license agent a certificate of training or proof of completion of a course approved by the I.H.E.A. or Director of WV DNR 20-2-30a
Wisconsin
To purchase a hunting license you must have completed an approved Hunter Education course if you were born on or after January 1, 1973.
Wyoming
NO person born on or after Jan. 1, 1966, may apply for and receive any Wyoming hunting license, NOR take any wildlife by the use of firearms on land other than that of his own family, unless the person possesses and can exhibit a certificate of competency and safety in the use and handling of firearms.


Canada
Alberta
Hunter Education is mandatory for 12 & 13 year olds. Anyone 14 and older can challenge the First Time Hunter Test or take the Hunter Education course.

British Columbia
Youth ages 10-17 may hunt with a junior hunting licence, no education requirement. At 18 years of age, the Conservation and Outdoor Education (CORE) program, BC hunter education program is mandatory. All youth under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a licenced adult hunter. Non residents hunting big game must be accompanied by a licenced guide. No education course required to get a non-resident hunting licence.

Manitoba
Students must be a minimum of twelve years of age. All first-time hunters (including bowhunters) must show proof of having taken the Manitoba Hunter and Firearm Safety Course OR a similar course from another province or state. Hunter Education became mandatory in Manitoba in 1969, therefore anyone purchasing a hunting license who was not 19 years of age in 1969 and had not previously held a hunting license, must have the Hunter Education training requirements. NOTE* Starting January 1, 2012, ALL hunters will have to produce a Hunter Education Certificate number to purchase a Manitoba hunting license.

Newfoundland and Labrador
All New Hunters must complete the Firearm Safety/Hunter Education Program prior to applying for a Big or Small game license.

Nova Scotia
To purchase a hunting license you must have completed an approved Hunter Education course.

Northwest Territory

New Brunswick
All hunters born on or after Janurary 1, 1981 and all first time hunters must complete a Firearm Safety/Hunter Education course. Bow hunters are also required to complete a Bow Hunter Education course. Students must be 13 years of age to participate in the Firearm Safety/Hunter Education program. Conservation Education certificates from other states or provinces are recognized by New Brunswick.

Nunavut

Ontario
Hunter Education Stand Alone course is minimum of 12.5 hours of instructor-based education. A "One Stop" course combines the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and Hunter Education Course. Minimum 20 hours of instruction. * Ontario residents may hunt at 15 years of age provided they have parental consent. The Hunter Apprenticeship Safety Program (HASP) allows residents (12 yrs and older) to participate under the direct and immediate supervision of a qualified mentor following the successful completion of a hunter education course and examination. Participants must share one firearm and have parental consent if under the age of 16.

Quebec
To purchase a hunting license to hunt with a firearm, a bow or a cossbow, residents must have successfully completed an approved Hunter Education course. To trap, residents must have successfully completed an approved Trapper Education course. The requirements to obtain a hunter's or a trapper's certificates are: be a Quebec resident, be at least 12 years of age and not have had the said certificate suspended or cancelled following a Court conviction. Anyone under the age of 16 for bow or crossbow hunting, and 18 for firearm hunting, must be accompanied by a person 18 years of age or older who is the holder of a hunter's certificate appropriate with the arm used or a non-resident's hunting license. Under the "Federal Firearm Act", for firearm hunting, anyone who doesn't have a firearm possession license, must be under the presence and immediate supervision of a person who is in lawful possession of the firearm.

Prince Edward Island
All hunters hunting on Prince Edward Island are required to be in possession of a Firearm Safety Certificate from any province or state. 1) All first time hunters and all individuals born on or after September 1, 1968 are required to successfully complete a Firearm/ Hunter Safety Course. 2) All individuals who were born before September 1, 1968, and who have hunted previously can apply for a P.E.I. Firearm Safety Certificate by signing an affidavit. ( currently under review)

Saskatchewan
Mandatory

Yukon
All Yukon Residents born after April 1, 1987 are required to take and successfully complete a recognized hunter training course prior to obtaining a hunting license. Non Residents that wish to hunt big game in the Yukon are required to be guided by a registered Yukon Outfitter or by a Yukon Resident holding a Special Guide License. Bison, goat, sheep, elk, deer, and wolverine may not be hunted under a Special Guide Licence. Other restrictions may apply.

International Hunter Education Association

800 East 73rd Avenue, Unit 2
Denver, CO 80229
phone: 303 430-7233 |  fax: 303 430-7236


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