Home | Outdoors | Hunting & Fishing | The Game Trail

The Game Trail

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

Hunter education classes

The hunting seasons are behind us but next year’s hunts are just around the corner.  There is a lot of planning to do before next fall: purchase applicable tags and license, apply for controlled hunt, repair or purchase new equipment, and most importantly get those young ones signed up for a hunter education class.

Who must complete a hunter education course to obtain an Idaho Hunting License? Idaho law requires that anyone born after January 1, 1975 complete an approved hunter education course to purchase an Idaho hunting license unless the person has held a valid hunting license in Idaho or another state or the person has proof of completion of an approved hunter education course from another state. (Idaho Code Chapter 4, Title 36-411). The minimum age to enroll in the course is nine years old. They must meet the knowledge and skill standards outlined in the course curriculum to receive their course certificate. However, course graduates will not be able to purchase a hunting license until their tenth birthday.

The traditional classroom course is approximately 20 hours in length and includes a range and live-fire exercise. Topics covered include safe handling and operation of firearms, ammunition, archery and various hunting equipment, hunter responsibilities and ethics, wildlife management and conservation, hunting regulations, and other related information.

Idaho hunter and bowhunter education programs are funded through the Pittman-Robertson Act. Idaho receives a portion of the excise tax dollars which are collected on the sale of firearms, archery equipment and ammunition throughout the United States. As a result Idaho students only pay an $8 fee to cover the cost of course materials. Over 12,000 Idaho hunter education students are certified annually by more than 850 experienced and knowledgeable volunteer instructors. The approximately 225 volunteer bowhunter instructors certified over 3,000 Idaho bowhunter education students annually.

There is an internet option available for students 10 years old and above. Following completion of the online course, students must also attend a 6- to 7-hour field day to receive their certification. I would highly recommend that your child participate in an instructor led course if possible. They will receive some great tutelage from our fine instructors

Idaho uses the International Hunter Education Association standards. All other 49 states and most Canadian provinces that require hunter education accept the Idaho course to meet their requirement. To purchase an archery-only permit in Idaho, all bow hunters must show proof they have completed the Idaho Bowhunter Education Course, or an approved bowhunter education course from another state, or show evidence of being previously licensed for an archery-only hunt in Idaho or another state.

To sign up please go to the Idaho Fish and Game website (fishandgame.idaho.gov). Follow the links to the hunter education course sign-up. Pick a location nearest to you and pay right online with a credit card! Right now there are a few courses in Sandpoint available and we are working on possibly having one in Clark Fork this summer.

We couldn’t do this without the great volunteer instructors that spend their time teaching our youth safe gun handling and foundations to be an ethical safe sportsman. As with any instruction, it is only the beginning of a learning process and the continual mentorship is required by parents or guardians to ensure that young one grows up doing the right thing.

If anybody is interested in becoming an instructor we need you! The heart of Idaho’s Hunter Education Program is the corps of volunteers who provide the instruction. They stand as examples of what each hunter should be in ethics, behavior and responsibility to themselves, landowners, other hunters and the resource.

Our instructors “give something back” by sharing skills, experiences, and their love of hunting with those new to the adventures ahead.

Basic qualifications require than an instructor be at least 18 years of age and knowledgeable about sporting arms, wildlife and hunting, as well as organizing and instructing youth. Applicants are subject to fingerprinting and a confidential background check by the State Department of Law Enforcement.

Instructor candidates receive eight hours of orientation and training in the techniques of teaching and administrative procedures associated with the program. Orientation will outline how to organize the class, select meeting sites, where to get assistance, publicity strategies, how to order supplies and get students registered and finally certified. Instructors will learn how to use lesson plans, how to teach using various methods, and how to employ effective teaching styles.

Instructor candidates must pass a required written exam and assist a certified instructor prior to being certified. Upon certification, the new instructor will receive an identification card, shoulder patch, instructor manual and a set of reference materials.

For more information about becoming an Idaho Hunter Education Volunteer Instructor, please call the Coeur d’Alene Fish and Game Regional Office at 208-769-1414.

Leave No Child Inside... and get them signed up for Hunter Education.

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (0 posted)

total: | displaying:

Post your comment

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Underline
  • Quote

Please enter the code you see in the image:

  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version
  • Plain text Plain text

Author info

Matt Haag Matt Haag is an Idaho Fish and Game Conservation Officer.

Tagged as:

hunting, hunter education

Rate this article