New Hunter Education Course
Virginia has implemented a new, shorter hunter education course. Instead of 10 hours or more, the new course will be 6–8 hours. Students will be required to complete several hours of self-study prior to the class. Some material on the final test will be covered in the self-study material, but not during actual class time. To be sure of passing the test and receiving a certification card, the student must complete one of the self-study options!
Select a Self-Study Option
Register for a Class
After completing one of the self-study options, find and register for a class near you.
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 more than 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, knowledgable 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.
Please call 1-866-721-6911 Monday-Friday 8 AM to 5 PM (except holidays) for replacement hunter education cards. There is a $10 fee for replacement cards. You will be requested to provide the following information: your full name, date of birth, approximate date (year or month/year) of class, and current mailing address. If your attendance can be verified, a duplicate card will be issued.
Are You Required to Complete Hunter Education?
You are required to complete hunter education before buying a hunting license if:
- you are 12–15 years of age, or
- you have not previously purchased a regular hunting license.
This requirement shall not apply to persons while on horseback hunting foxes with hounds but without firearms.
It is also possible to purchase an apprentice hunting license without completing hunter education. Learn more about the apprentice license »