Important Facts about your Hunter Education certification
- Certification is good for life.
- Texas certification is honored by other states and provinces requiring hunter education.
- You must carry proof of certification or deferral on your person while hunting.
- Proof of certification is NOT required to purchase a license.
Who needs to take Hunter Education?
Every hunter (including out-of-state hunters) born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, must successfully complete hunter education. Minimum age for certification is 9 years and cost is $15.If you were born on or after September 2, 1971 and you are:
- under 9 years of age, you must be accompanied*.
- age 9 through 16, you must successfully complete hunter education, OR you must be accompanied.
- age 17 and over, you must successfully complete hunter education; OR purchase a “Hunter Education Deferral,” and you must be accompanied.
What does “accompanied” mean?
Accompanied means: By a person 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. Proof of certification or deferral is required to be on your person while hunting. Note: Proof of certification is not required to purchase a hunting license.
Do I qualify for a Hunter Education Deferral?
Any person 17 years of age or older who has not completed hunter education may 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. You must be accompanied while hunting if you have a deferral. Note: The one-time Hunter Education Deferral is available at license vendors and costs $10. 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.
I lost my certification card. How do I get a replacement?
You may now print a copy of your certification. Failure to carry proof of certification or deferral while hunting is a Class C, Parks and Wildlife Code Misdemeanor which is punishable by a fine not less than $25 nor more than $500.
How long has this been law?
“Mandatory” hunter education became law in 1988. Since 1972, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has offered hunter education courses which have certified over one million students.
How long is the course?
The Basic Classroom Course is 6 hours of instruction, typically in schools/indoors, including some skill exercises, review and final exam.
What does the course cover?
The Classroom Course covers the core standards in Firearm, Hunting and Outdoor Safety, Hunting Responsibilities and Wildlife Conservation. Some classroom courses are extended to cover additional topics such as Bowhunting, Muzzleloaders, Outdoor Survival and First Aid.
What is the cost of the course?
The classroom and field courses provided by hunter education instructors cost $15. Note: Some instructors may charge additional fees associated with a shooting range or particular facility. The fee for the Online Course options is determined by the independent providers offering such training.
Can I fail this course?
Yes, you can fail the course because of unsatisfactory knowledge, skill or attitude as evaluated by your instructor. The minimum score on the final exam is 75 percent. However, if you achieve a higher score, but are determined to lack safe skills in live-firing or field exercises, or as a result of classroom disruptions, attitude, or incomplete attendance, you may fail the course.
Do I need the Hunter Education Certificate to purchase a hunting license?
No, In Texas you are not required to show your certification when you purchase a license, but proof of certification or “deferral” is required to be on your person while hunting. # on license, printed HE certification card and certification card/bar code captured on your mobile phone serve as satisfactory proof of hunter education, but only in Texas. Other states may have different requirements; so be sure to carry a HE certification card.
I’m a bowhunter. Do I need the same certification?
Additional bowhunter education courses are available. This does not replace hunter education. Texas hunters who fall in the required age classes must complete Hunter Education regardless of the type of sporting arm used or species hunted. Bowhunter Education is mandatory in some states and provinces. Bowhunter education is a two-day course.
I am in the military/law enforcement. Does the law still apply to me?
Military/Law Enforcement Exemptions
Except as required by federal or local jurisdictions and/or private landowners, the following persons are exempt from requirements to complete a hunter education course to hunt in Texas:
- Active duty members and honorably discharged veterans of the United States armed forces;
- Active duty members or those who have previously served as members of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, or the Texas State Guard; or
- Persons who are serving or have previously served as a peace officer as described by Subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4), Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure.
I have a license to carry a concealed handgun. Do I still need the certification?
Yes, some of the safety training may be similar; however, Hunter Education includes many topics that are not part of handgun education. There are no exemptions from this requirement.
I took Hunter Education in another state. Do I still need to take the Texas course?
No, Texas recognizes Hunter Education certificates from all other states and provinces. You will need to carry a proof of that certification on your person while hunting in Texas. We cannot duplicate Hunter Education certification from other states and provinces, you will need to contact the agency that regulates Hunter Education in that state.
I want to hunt out-of-state. Will my Texas Hunter Education certificate be recognized?
Yes, all states and provinces requiring hunter education recognize your Texas certification. You must carry your certification card with you as proof.
For more info visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/education/hunter-education/faq