Hunter Education Requirements for the U.S. and Canada

 
While we have done our best to try and provide the most accurate information possible, you must contact your local state to ensure you have met the regulations.  AHLA does not assume any responsibility for any actions taken against you based off this information.  Always check with your state prior to hunting.
 

Alabama

 
Any person born on or before August 1, 1977 needs proof of completing a hunter education course before buying a hunting license. Proof of completing the course does not apply to any state resident currently active in the United States military, the National Guard or employed as a law enforcement officer.
 
The Wildlife Heritage Act of 2007
 
Instead of passing the hunter education course, hunters can buy a “Supervision Required” license if they hunt with a mentor 21-years or older, and who buys a hunting license after completing the Hunters Education course. Holders of “Supervision Required” licenses must stay within hearing distance of their mentor (30-feet or less).
 

Alaska

 
Successful completion of a Basic Hunter Education course is mandatory for hunting in the following places:
 
  • The Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge – 14C
  • The Eagle River Management Area - Small game and 14C bear
  • The Eklutna Lake Management Area – 14C bear
  • The Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge* – 1C
  • The Palmer/Wasilla Management Area – 14A shotgun for big game
*In this area, hunters under the age of 10 must pass a Basic Hunter Education class or have the direct supervision of an adult.
 
To hunt in weapons restricted areas, a basic hunter education course and a course in the hunter’s chosen weapon must be successfully completed.
 
Some archery, muzzleloader or shotgun drawing permit hunts require that hunters pass a basic hunter education class.
 
Beginning in the summer of 2016, Bow hunters must complete an approved bowhunter education class before buying a license.
 
In Units 7, 13, 14, 15, and 20, anyone born after January 1, 1986 and 16-years or older must pass a basic hunter education class before buying a hunting license.
 
Any hunter under 16-years old must pass a basic hunter education Class or:
 
Hunt under the direct supervision of a licensed hunter over the age of 16 who has passed a certified hunter education course; or, was born on or before January 1, 1986.
 

Arizona

 
Young people between the ages of 9 and 14 years-old must pass a hunter education class to hunt big game. The hunter certification card becomes valid once the hunter turns 10-years old, but courses are open to children at 9 years old.
 

Arkansas

 
Anyone born after, or on January 1, 1969 must carry an Arkansas Hunter Education certificate while hunting wildlife. People under the age of 16 do not have to carry a hunter education card if they hunt under the direct supervision of a legally licensed adult, over 21-years of age.
 
Hunters can apply for and receive a one-year Deferred Hunter Education (DHE) license once during their lifetime. People over the age of 16 and born after December 31, 1968 qualify for a DHE-coded license if they have no prior convictions for violating Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) codes. A legally licensed adult, 21 years or older, or a person born before December 31, 1968 must directly supervise hunters carrying a DHE-coded license.
 

California

 
Regardless of age, all first time hunters must complete a hunter education class before buying a license.
 
Hunters from other states must have hunter education certification and a valid, legal hunting license from their resident state.
 

Colorado

 
Anyone born on or after January 1, 1949 must pass a hunter education course to qualify for a Colorado hunting or trapping license.
 

Connecticut

 
Anyone 10 years or older or anyone with proof of having a resident hunting license in the last 5 years, or certification from a Connecticut Hunter Education class may buy a firearms/bowhunter license.
Out-of-state bowhunters must have bowhunter specified on the hunting license issued by the resident state.
 

Delaware

 
To buy a Delaware hunting license, all hunters born since Jan 1, 1967 must pass a Hunter Education class.
 

Florida

 
Hunters born on or after June 1, 1975 must pass a Hunter Education course to qualify for a hunting license.
 

Hawaii

 
Hunters must pass a basic Hunter Education course to purchase a hunting license in Hawaii.
Those with out-of-state Hunter Education cards and anyone issued a resident hunting license on or before July 1, 1990, can request a letter of exemption from the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
 

Georgia

 
Successful completion of a Hunter Education class is required for all resident and non-resident hunters born on or before January 1, 1961. Hunters between the ages of 12 – 15 must complete a Hunter Education course unless they have adult supervision.
 
Hunter education certification is not necessary to buy a one-day or seven-day hunting license.
 
Hunters 10-16 years must complete a hunter education class to hunt on Park Services lands or National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs).
 
Hunter education certification is not needed to hunt on personal property or the property of a parent or guardian.
 

Idaho

 
Anyone born on or after January 1, 1975 must complete a hunter education course before buying a hunting license.
 
Hunters who have previously held valid hunting licenses in Idaho or any other state do not have to complete a hunter education course.
 

Illinois

 
Hunters born on or after January 1, 1980 must pass an approved Hunter education course before buying a hunting license.
 
Illinois honorably discharged Veterans can earn Hunter education certification by completing and passing the online portion of the class. Veterans do not have to attend the field day portion of the course to pass the course and receive certification.
 

Indiana

 
Any hunter born on or after December 31, 1986 must complete a Hunter education course before buying a hunting license.
 
Exceptions to this regulation include active duty military men and women currently based in Indiana. Farmland owners and their families who hunt small game on property they own. Non-resident hunters who own land in Indiana may carry a resident license stamped with the same game tags authorized by his or her resident state.
 
The hunter’s resident state must also allow non-resident hunters who own property in that state the same hunting rights as Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources.
 

Iowa

 
Hunters 12-years old and older, born after January 1, 1972 must pass a Hunter education course before buying a hunting license.
 
Hunter education courses accept children 11-years old and older. Certification validates when the hunter turns 12-years old.
 

Kansas

 
To buy a hunting license in Kansas, anyone born on or after July 1, 1957 must pass a certified Hunter education course.
 
Hunters under 12 must hunt under the direct supervision of an adult 18-years or older who carries a valid Hunter education card and hunting license. Hunters 12 – 16 years old must carry proof of completing a Hunter education course with them at all times while hunting. Hunters 12 – 27 years old must carry proof of passing a Hunter education course at all times while hunting alone.Reciprocity
 

Kentucky

 
Hunters born on or after January 1, 1975 must pass a Hunter education course and carry a valid course completion card, along with a valid Kentucky hunting license, with them at all times while hunting.
 
Those exempt from this rule include active military personnel, landowners and children under 12-years old who hunt under direct supervision of a legally licensed adult.
 
Resident and non-resident hunters may purchase a one-year hunter-education exemption license.
 
Bow hunters may carry a valid National Bowhunter education Program card if not in possession of a firearm.
 
Beginning in 2014, the state requires online preregistration for all Hunter education courses.
 

Louisiana

 
Proof of successful completion of a Hunter education course is required before buying a license for anyone born on or after September 1, 1969.
 
People hunting under the direct supervision of a licensed hunter over the age of 18; who was born before September 1, 1969, and has proof of completing a Hunter education course may hunt without completing the course.
 
Active law enforcement officers, veterans and current members of the military do not have to take the Hunter education course to qualify for a hunting license.
 

Maine

 
Adults must show proof of having legally held a license to hunt for any year since 1976 or show proof of successful completion of a Hunter education class in Maine or another state.
 
Online Hunter education certificates do not qualify.
 
Bow hunters and crossbow hunters must show proof of having held a license in any year or state since 1979 or have successfully completed an Archery Education course.
 

Maryland

 
Adults born on or after July 1, 1977 and junior licensees must have a Certificate of Competency in Firearms and Hunter Safety. Hunters born before July 1, 1977 must show proof of holding a hunting license for any prior year.
 
Reciprocity
 

Massachusetts

 
Completion of a Basic Hunter education course is mandatory for all hunters applying for their first hunting or (combined) sporting license.
 
Reciprocity
 

Michigan

 
Hunters planning an out-of-state hunting trip or first-time licensees born on or after January 1, 1960 must complete the Hunter education course before buying a hunting license.
 
People under the age of 10 may hunt using a mentored youth license and those over 10-years old can hunt using an Apprentice hunting license. The Apprentice hunting program allows young people to hunt for two-years using an Apprentice license before attending the Hunting Education course.
 

Minnesota

 
Hunters 12-years or older or born on or after December 31, 1979 must pass a Hunter education course before buying a hunting license for big game or small game.
 
Adults 18-years old and older may complete an online Hunter education course with the option to participate, or not, in the courses field day.
 

Mississippi

 
All hunters born on or after January 1, 1972 must pass a hunter education course to qualify for a hunting license.
 

Missouri

 
Any hunter born on or after January 1, 1967 or is 16 years old or older must complete a Hunter education certification course before buying a hunting license.
 
Exceptions to the certification course include:
 
  • Hunters born before January 1, 1967
  • Hunters 15 years or younger who hunt with a legally licensed adult 18 years and older who has proof of hunter education certification
  • Hunters with a disability exemption issued by the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Protection Division
  • A hunter 16 years or older who bought an Apprentice Hunter Authorization and a legally licensed adult 18 years or older and a permitted mentor will supervise the hunt
  • Hunters who hunt on land they own or lease
  • Hunters with proof of completing a hunter education course in another state

Montana

 
Hunters 11 years old and older or born after Jan. 1, 1985 must pass a hunter education course to purchase a Montana hunting license. Hunters can show proof of hunter education certification from Montana, any other state or province of Canada.
 
Hunters born before January 1, 1985 do not have to take a hunter education class to buy a hunting license.
 

Nebraska

 
Hunters ages 12 – 29 must complete a hunter education course before buying a firearm hunting, crossbow or bow-hunting license. All firearm, crossbow and bow-hunters must carry proof of completing a hunter education course while hunting.
 
Hunters ages 12 – 29 must pass separate courses for firearm and bowhunting education certification and carry proof while bowhunting Mountain Sheep, Antelope, Deer, or Elk.
 
Hunters under 12-years old or hunters who have not completed a hunter education course for firearms or bowhunting can purchase a one-time Apprentice Hunter Education Exemption certificate. A legally licensed adult 19 years old or older who successfully completed a hunter education course must accompany hunters with the exemption certificate. Accompanied means staying within seeing and hearing distance of each other at all times.
 

Nevada

 
Before buying a small game or big game hunting license, hunters born after January 1, 1960 must show proof of completing a hunter education course in Nevada or other state.
 
Hunters 12 years and older must carry a hunter education card and valid hunting license at all times while hunting. People 14 years and older with a valid hunting license, a hunter education card and permission from their parent or guardian may hunt alone.
 

New Hampshire

 
Hunters must complete a Hunter Education course to buy a hunting, trapping or archery license. As of January 1, 2014, the Basic Hunter Education program and the Specialized Bowhunter Education program became one course called Hunter Education. Hunters get one certification card that works to purchase an archery-hunting license and a firearm-hunting license.
 
Hunters who completed Hunter Education before January 1, 2014 still must complete a separate bowhunter-only course before purchasing a license.
 
Hunters with proof they held the same type of hunting license in the past, do not have to take the Hunter Education Course.
 
The New Hampshire Traditional Hunter Education Course does qualify students to hunt in Massachusetts.
 

New Jersey

 
All hunters 10 years and over must pass the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Hunter Education course before getting a shotgun and rifle/muzzleloader hunting license.
 
The at-home program funded by the state and free to residents, allows hunters to complete the classwork at home and turn-in a workbook at a one-day field session.
 
Hunters 10 – 13 years must have supervision by a licensed adult 21 years or older.
 

New Mexico

 
Hunters 18 years and older must pass a hunter education course in New Mexico or another state before applying for a hunting licensed. Hunters currently participating in the New Mexico Mentored-Youth Hunting Program do not have to take the hunter education
 
Trying to purchase or applying for firearms before completing a hunter education course is illegal.
 

New York

 
All hunters, 12 years and older must present either a hunter education certificate or a previous hunting license to qualify for a hunting license. People between 11 -16 years must have a permission slip signed by a parent or guardian that allows them to use a firearm during the hunting education course.
 

North Carolina

 
Hunters 16 years or older or born on or after July 1, 2013, must have a hunter education certificate of competency, a North Carolina hunting heritage apprentice permit, or a hunting license issued before July 1, 2013 to buy a hunting license.
 

North Dakota

 
All hunters born after 1961 must have a certificate of successful completion of a hunter education course before buying a hunting license.
 
Anyone born before 1961, hunters under 12 years who have permission and direct supervision by a licensed adult do not have to take a hunter education course before buying a license. Hunters who hunt on land they own and people who buy apprentice-hunting licenses do not need hunter education certification.
 

Ohio

 
All first-time hunters must complete a hunter education course or buy an apprentice license before buying a hunting license. Hunters with proof of certification or a license from the year before do not have to retake the hunter education course.
 
Hunters and trappers of all ages can take a hunter and trapper education course.
 

Oklahoma

 
Hunters 10 – 30 years old must have hunter education certification to buy a hunting license. People 31 years and older do not need hunter education certification.
 
Anyone 30 years and younger can buy an apprentice-designated hunting license, which requires an accompanying hunter. The accompanying hunter must have a valid hunting license, unless exempt, be 18 years or older and stay within arms-reach when hunting big game or within talking distance when hunting small game.
 

Oregon

 
Hunters 18 years and older must possess proof of completing a hunter education course except when hunting on personally owned property or that of parents.
 

Pennsylvania

 
To purchase a hunting license, hunters 11 years and older must complete an approved Hunter Education course or have proof of hunter education certification from another state or province.
 

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

 
Hunters born on or after June 30, 1979 must complete a hunter education course before buying a hunting license.
 

South Dakota

 
Hunters 11 to 15 years must pass a hunter education course before buying a hunting license. Students get a Hunter’s Safety card on they turn 12 years old.
 

Tennessee

 
All hunters born on or after Jan 1, 1969 must complete a hunter education class to qualify for a hunting license. Children 9 and older may take the free hunter education classes. When the child turns 10 years old, he or she will get a Hunter Education card.
 
All children 9 years and younger must have an adult 21 years or older supervise hunts and stay close enough to control the firearm at all times.
 
Adults born before January 1, 1969 can take the hunter education course and get Hunter Education Card. The card allows hunting in other states.
 

Texas

 
All resident and non-resident hunters born on or after September 2, 1971 must complete a Hunter Education Course. Hunters 9-years or older can take the certification course.
 
A legally licensed or exempt adult who is 17-years old or older must accompany hunters:
 
  • Under 9-years old
  • Between the ages of 9-16 who have not passed a hunter education course
  • 17 and older who have not passed a hunter education course or purchased a “Hunter Education Deferral”
The Texas Corp of Engineers, military posts, reservations and other federally owned lands can require every hunter carry a Hunter Education Card. Always check with the land-owner before hunting or risk fines and license suspension.
 

Utah

 
People born on or after December 31, 1965 must pass the Utah Hunter Education course before qualifying for a hunting license.
 
In 2014, Utah’s Trial Hunting Program began. Any resident or non-resident 12 years and older can hunt for a few years before taking the Utah Hunter Education class. These hunters must have an adult 21 years or older supervise the hunts.
 
Hunters need to sign up for the program on the Utah Division of Wildlife website and will after finishing a short orientation and exam, get a trial hunting authorization number.
 

Vermont

 
Hunters must complete a hunter education course or show proof of completion in the past.
 
Before buying a hunting license, one of the following must be presented as proof of prior certification:
 
  • Current of past hunting license from any state or Canadian province
  • Certification or a written letter of completion of a hunter education course in any state or Canadian province
  • Proof of hunter/firearms certification in the past

Virginia

 
All hunters born on or after January 1, 1975 must complete a hunter education course to qualify for a hunting license.
 
Anyone 15 years or older can attend a hunter safety course. Students over 18 can complete the online course for certification while those 15 – 17 years must complete the online course and attend a field day for testing.
 
Apprentice licenses for all hunters 15 and older allow hunting with an adult supervisor before completing the hunter education course.
 

Washington

 
All hunters born on or after January 1, 1972 must complete a hunter education course to qualify for a hunting license.
 
Active military personnel do not have to have a field evaluation test after completing the online course. A Military Exemption Form and proof of service must be mailed to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife before a license is issued.
 

West Virginia

 
All hunters born on or after January 1, 1975 must complete a hunter education course to qualify for a hunting license.
 
Anyone 15 years or older can attend a hunter safety course. Students over 18 can complete the online course for certification while those 15 – 17 years must complete the online course and attend a field day for testing.
 
Apprentice licenses for all hunters 15 and older allow hunting with an adult supervisor before completing the hunter education course.
 

Wisconsin

 
People born on or after January 1, 1973 must pass a hunter education course to qualify for a hunting license.
 
The following exceptions apply:
 
  • Active military or any person with proof of completing basic training
  • Hunters born before January 1, 1973
  • Any hunter 10 years or older who participates in Mentored Hunting and is accompanied by a legally licensed and permitted adult who stays within arm’s reach of the firearm or weapon at all times

Wyoming

 
All hunters born on or after January 1, 1966 must complete a hunter education course to qualify for a hunting license.
 
Hunters who have not passed a hunter education course can hunt with a mentor. The mentor must have a legal license and permits along with certification of completing a hunter education course. The mentor must stay in arm’s length of the firearm at all times.
 

Canada

 

Alberta

 
All first-time hunters under 16-years old must have written permission from a parent or guardian to apply for a hunting license. First-time hunters between 12-16-years old must complete the Alberta Conservation and Hunter Education course, hunt with an adult 18-years or older and carry written permission from a parent or guardian.
 
All hunters must write the Hunter Education certificate number on the WIN application form to qualify for a hunting license.
 
Hunters do not need a Hunter Education certificate number to apply for a draw; however, without a number, a license cannot be issued.
 

British Columbia

 
Hunters 10-17-years old do not have to complete the Hunter Education course. Hunters under 18-years old can hunt using a junior hunting license and must have an adult over 18-years old supervise.
 
All hunters over 18-years old must complete the Conservation and Outdoor Education (CORE) program to qualify for a hunting license.
 
Non-resident big game hunters do not have to complete the CORE course. They must hunt with a resident licensed guide.
 

Manitoba

 
All hunters must have a Hunter Education Certificate number to purchase a hunting license. Similar certification in another province or the United States satisfies the mandatory completion of the Manitoba Hunter Education Course and the dated Hunter and Firearm Safety Training Course.
 
A person may obtain a legal hunting license at the age of 12 through hunter mentoring programs with special licensing that do not require Hunter Education certification but do require supervision by a licensed adult with proof of completing the Hunter Education course.
 

Newfoundland and Labrador

 
All hunters, 14-years old and older must complete the Canadian Firearm Safety/Hunter Education Course for hunting license eligibility.
 
All eligible hunters get an Outdoor Identification Card after completing the above course; or prior to 1996, passed the Hunter Capability Test; or the Canadian Firearm Safety Course.
 
The legal minimum age for completing the Canadian Firearm/Hunter Education Course in the province is 14. Hunters 16 or older who complete the course and have a license may hunt small game only.
 
Hunters 18 or older who meet the licensing requirements can hunt big game.
 

Nova Scotia

 
All new firearm hunters and bowhunters have to pass a hunter education class before getting a hunting license.
 

Northwest Territory

 
Hunters can voluntarily take a Hunter education certification class.
 

New Brunswick

 
All hunters born on or after January 1, 1981 must complete a hunter education course to qualify for a hunting license. Bow hunters must complete a bowhunter education class, as well.
 
Any person 13 years and older can take a hunter education class for certification in firearms hunting and bowhunting.
 

Ontario

 
All hunters must pass a hunter education course before buying a hunting license. A combined Firearms Safety Course and Hunter Education Course, opened to anyone 15 years and older, provides the certification needed for licensing.
 
Those 12 years and under who want to hunt can participate in the Hunter Apprenticeship Safety Program. After completing a hunter education course, the student can hunt under the direct supervision of a mentor. Apprentices must have parental permission.
 

Quebec

 
All hunters and trappers 12 years and older must pass a hunter education course before buying a hunting license.
 
Direct supervision by an adult is mandatory for bowhunters and crossbow hunters under 16 years old; for firearms 18 years or older.
 

Prince Edward Island

 
Those wanting to hunt and were born on or before September 1, 1968 must pass a hunter education course before buying a hunting license.
 

Saskatchewan

 
Anyone born on or after January 1, 1971, must pass a Firearm/Hunter Education course to qualify for a hunting or fur license. Hunters and trappers must carry proof of certification at all times.
 
Hunters 12 years and over can buy a hunting license with the consent of a parent or guardian. Direct supervision of hunters 12 – 17 years old by an adult over 18 years is mandatory.
 

Yukon

 
Yukon Residents born on or after April 1, 1987 must successfully complete a hunter education course before buying a hunting license. Non-Residents that wish to hunt big game must have the supervision of a registered Yukon Outfitter or a Yukon Resident holding a Special Guide License.