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Hunter Education

There's a lifetime of satisfaction to be found in the begins with Vermont Hunter Education.

First-time hunters, bowhunters and trappers must successfully complete their respective course in order to purchase their first license. All courses are led by certified volunteer instructors, all are FREE, including materials, and all are open to all ages and experience.

Courses are available year-round, but the peak season is August through October. If you fail to find a course that meets your needs, check back frequently or register to receive an email if a course opens in your area. The site is updated as new courses are received.

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An Option for Everyone - Homestudy Makes It Easy

Many basic firearm (aka Hunter Education) and combination basic firearm/bowhunter courses and all trapper education classes are offered in a homestudy format. This means the student is responsible for the knowledge portion of the content before attending a hands-on field day. This can be accomplished by completing a workbook or online course. Note: You must register for a course and come with your certificate of completion.

ONLINE Basic Firearm Course »            ONLINE Trapper Education Course »

Find and Register for a Course

Hunter Ed Q & A

Is hunting safe?

Hunting is safe and getting safer. Hunting accidents have decreased more than 80% since hunter education began in Vermont in 1958. In 2012, Vermont fielded 75,000 hunters but recorded no hunting accidents!

Is there an age requirement?

No, but students under 16 must have a parent's signature to enroll.

Is my child ready for hunter education?

Most course materials are written at the sixth grade level. To gauge your child's ability to comprehend the information, check out this free, online study guide: Study Guide »

Who needs to take the course?

All first-time hunters, bowhunters, and trappers must successfully complete the course before getting a license of that type.

How much does it cost?

It's free. All materials are provided by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and the U.S. Wildlife Restoration, Division of Federal Aid, with funds derived from a tax on firearms, ammunition and archery equipment.

When are courses available?

Courses are taught throughout the year, with the peak seasons in late summer through early October.

Can I use the course to get a license in another state?

All states, Canadian provinces and many other countries recognize Vermont's certification.

Where can I get a basic firearm, bowhunter, or trapper workbook and manual?

Call 802-828-1193 to receive through the mail, or visit Vermont Fish & Wildlife in the Records/Dewey Building at National Life in Montpelier.

Should I wear orange?
Effectiveness of Blaze Orange: This short hunter safety video provides tips about how wearing the right amount and kind of blaze orange can keep you safe in the field.

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Becoming a Hunter, Bowhunter, and Trapper Education Instructor in Vermont

Hunter education is always looking for volunteer instructors. The work is demanding and the hours are often long and inconvenient, but instructors love their work because they know they are contributing to the future of hunting and trapping.

All instructor applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Have had no significant misdemeanor, felony or wildlife violations
  • Enjoy working with young people
  • Believe in and practice safe, responsible hunting
  • Complete an application process that includes providing personal references and a criminal history background check.
Once complete, the instructor candidates attend an instructor certification course where they learn about the policies and guidelines of being a Vermont Hunter Education Program instructor.

For more information, Contact us:

Vermont Hunter Education Program
Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
1National Life Drive, Davis 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3702

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