4 Simple Steps To Get Your Hunting License
After you’ve thought about why you’re hunting in the first place, the next step is to pass your state or province hunter safety course. This requirement ensures that you, the hunter, have an introductory understanding of ethics and responsibilities, operation and safe handling of firearms, ammunition, archery, wildlife management and conservation, and hunting regulations.
But enough of what’s on the test, you’re here to get your certificate and start hunting. Here is a four-step guide to getting you going:
1. Find your state or province hunter education program
Although we talk about “hunter safety,” most of the time you’ll want to be searching for “hunter education + [location].” Although most of the material is similar across North America, you’ll want to save time by making sure you’re studying the specifics of your region.
If you’re still struggling to find the program in your area, try terms like “license” and “safety course.”
2. Decide how you want to take the test
Every hunter in one state will need to participate in the same hunter safety program, but there are three ways of passing the course. You will need to think about the time and money you want to put into passing to decide which option is best for you.
Take an in-person course: Taking the hunter safety in person will allow you to network with new hunters but it also comes at a higher cost. A key advantage to this option is that you’ll be told the critical information needed to pass the test instead of having to read through a course manual. Lastly, you won’t be challenged to exercise as much discipline to study as you would alone.
Take an online course: Online courses, such as huntercourse.com, will often give the same information for a lower price. You’ll have the convenience of self-paced study, instead of being required to show up at a physical location.
Challenge the written test: The cheapest of the three options, this choice is best for independent learners who don’t mind reading a lot. All you’ll need is your state’s hunter education book and a copy of the hunting regulations (often referred to as the regs). By reading through all of this material, you’ll have a deeper understanding of hunter education compared to taking a condensed course but be warned; it's not light reading!
3. Get the study guide and regulations
No matter which option you choose, be sure you understand the hunter education guide and hunting regulations imposed by your province or state. The study guide covers more introductory material to get started hunting; the regulations meanwhile, will give you information about hunting seasons, restrictions, hunting zones, among much more information. Although you won’t have to remember the “regs” by heart, you’ll be required to reference it during your test.
4. Write the test in person
Whether you’ve been studying in person, online, or plan to challenge, you’ll be required to write and pass the test in person with a certified instructor. To find a place to write the test, search for “[name of hunter education program] + test + [location].” Take advantage of Google reviews, Facebook pages, and company websites to get a feel for the examiner and their credentials.
Be sure to write notes when studying to retain information, review multiple choice techniques, and be refreshed the day of the test for best results.
After you pass the test, you'll mail in your results along with payment (address, institution and fee vary). In return, you'll get your official hunting license number.
Jarid and Jenny