Every hunter has heard it before: “I think I’d like to get into hunting. Do I need to take a hunter education course to buy a hunting license? How and where do I take a hunter education course?”
The answer is usually “yes.” If you were born after about 1959, you probably need to take and pass a hunter education course in order to buy a hunting license. Exceptions exist; some folks can get out of the requirement. But the real question anyone new to our pastime should ask is, Why not take a hunter education course?
Hunter education helps newbies learn the ropes. As someone who’s taken a course three times (once as a youth and twice more with my boys), I heartily recommend it. And now, it’s more convenient than ever.
Until recently, taking a hunter education course usually meant finding someone in the know, registering for a course they recommended and then showing up at a location about three times (usually two weeknights and all day Saturday). In-person courses are free thanks to fees collected through hunting license revenue and whatnot. So it’s not like the high cost of hunter education is a barrier to entry. The problem usually is time: Two weeknights and a Saturday don’t sound like much of a commitment until a newbie realizes he or she has to work late, forgot about a family event, must take care of honey-dos …
HunterEdCourse.com offers online courses. The new website is expanded to include simple steps to earn hunter education certification. There are unique pages for individual states that recognize online certification. Depending on where you live, you might find a course customized to meet your state requirements. At the site, you’ll find a free study guide, a list of frequently asked questions, photographs of learning materials and interactive exercises.
Hunter Ed Course is a Michigan-based company that specializes in hunter education. It is, according to company literature, “committed to ensuring the lifestyle and heritage of hunting in America through easier access to the sport.” I’d say this could do it. At only $13, the course is about half the cost of other offerings, says the company.
So now the next time somebody asks you the age-old question, you have a quick answer. Turkey season is here. Don’t allow hunter education to be a barrier to entry for anyone in your life.