First-time hunters born after January 1, 1972, must successfully pass a Hunter Education training course before purchasing a hunting license. Historically, fewer than 10 percent of Hunter Education classes are conducted after September 30th of each year. Anyone interested in taking Hunter Education training in Washington should plan to register for a class as early in the year as possible. This is especially true if you want to participate in the April spring turkey season, or want to apply for any of the available special permit hunts.
You can register online for Hunter Education training at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/huntered/.
Every year, we see two distinct patterns for our Hunter Education classes. The first occurs prior to July, when many classes are being offered and enrollment is very low.
The second occurs after July when fewer and fewer classes are being offered by certified volunteer Hunter Education instructors, demand begins to spike, and disappointed people are routinely turned away. “If you need Hunter Education training, don’t wait until the month of September or you may have to sit out the season,” said Sergeant
Carl Klein, Hunter Education Program Manager.
Every year, Hunter Education staff and volunteer instructors receive hundreds of calls from frustrated people who have waited until the last minute and cannot find an available class.
The traditional Hunter Education course involves a minimum of 10 hours of classroom teaching conducted by certified volunteer Hunter Education instructors, and is best suited for younger students. A traditional course of instruction may take place over 4-5 evenings, plus part of a Saturday for field activities.
The online Hunter Education course has separate components, and is best-suited for older students. The first component involves self-study and passing an Internet examination. The second component involves a training and evaluation class which includes a maximum of 4 hours of classroom and field activities conducted by certified volunteer Hunter Education instructors. Students must also register on the Internet for these short training and evaluation classes. Current or past members of the military who take the online Hunter Education course are exempt from the training and evaluation class portion.
Permit deadlines to remember:
- Spring bear permit applications: January-February
- Multi-season deer and elk permit applications: December-March
- Raffle permit sales: January-July
- Deer, elk, goat, sheep, and moose permit applications: mid-April through mid-May
“Washington also offers many youth hunting opportunities, so get your certification completed early so you don’t miss out,” said Sergeant Klein.
For more information about Hunter Education, please visit us at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/huntered/.
All course registration must be completed on the Internet. If you cannot find a class, you might consider the once-in-a-lifetime, one-license-year, Hunter Education deferral available to hunters 10 years and older. Those who take the Hunter Education deferral to get a license, though, are precluded from applying for special permits.