Hunter Education Course
The following are your options for obtaining a Virginia Hunter Education certificate:
Option 1: Virginia Hunter Education Course for All Ages “Self-Study + Class”
Notice: Virginia hunter education self study plus classroom course requires students to complete self-study material prior to class time. Beginning January 1, 2016, all students will submit the self study chapter review exercises to the classroom instructor at the beginning of the class. Some questions on the final test will be covered only in the self-study material. Choose a self-study option below:
- Pick up and study a free student manual at any regional DGIF office.
- Purchase and study a student manual. Call 1-800-830-2268. Price is $10.95 plus $5.00 shipping.
- Download a Free Self-study Student Manual (PDF)
Option 2: “Full-Online” Courses for Residents 12 Years of Age and Older
Notice: On April 1, 2016, Virginia implemented a new “full-online” adult hunter education course. You must be a Virginia resident and 12 years of age or older to take this course. There is no classroom requirement. The course providers allow you to print out a certificate after you pass the course.
These state-approved courses are commercially provided and are not administered by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries:
Since Hunter Education became mandatory for 12–15 year old and first-time hunters in 1988, there has been a 25% reduction in the rate of hunting-related shooting incidents. While hunting is safe in comparison to other common sports, each injury can cause extreme physical and emotional pain for the victim, the shooter, and their families. Hunter Education courses are designed to teach hunting safety, principles of conservation, and sportsmanship. A dedicated cadre of nearly 1000 trained volunteer instructors works with 170 Conservation Police Officers to train over 14,000 students each year.
Hunter Education Volunteer Instructors
Hunter Education volunteers are committed to training the next generation to be safe, knowledgeable and ethical participants in an enduring Virginia tradition. Many have had enjoyable hunting experiences and now say that they want to “give something back.” If this describes you, please get in touch with us. It can be a very rewarding experience. There is a need for instructors, class organizers, and help with transporting materials. Since working with children and firearms is part of the program, all applicants must submit to a criminal background check.
Replacement cards for classroom courses and internet courses can be ordered by clicking this link (note, this will take you to www.ilostmycard.com, who is managing hunting safety certificates for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries). The cost for a replacement card is $10.