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Traditional Hunter Education Courses Are Suspended Due to COVID-19
Hunter education staff now offers hunter education classes before our fall hunting seasons while following all safety protocols and ensuring the safety of staff, volunteers and students.

At this time:

  • Registration is open for live-fire range sessions; August sessions are currently filled - check back frequently as new classes will be added through November.

  • All hunter education students MUST complete the HunterCourse.com online hunter education program which covers both disciplines (Firearm and Bow) and pass the 100-question test. Students must bring their completion certificate when taking the live-fire portion. (The Study Guide/Workbook will NOT be accepted during this time.)

  • Upon completion of this online program, students must register for a specific date and time to take their live-fire test(s) during one of the listed classes on the Hunter Education Registration Site. Students must register for each discipline (Firearm and/or Bow) separately and for different times - DO NOT REGISTER FOR TWO SESSIONS FOR THE SAME TIME.

  • Students will be required to wear and provide their own masks and safety glasses.

  • Social distancing must be maintained.

  • Walk-in students will NOT be accepted during these classes.
The Hunter Education Unit is also designing a plan to offer in-person hunter education classes as soon as possible. Information will be posted here when it is available.

Hunter Education FAQs

Subscribe to the Hunting or Education E-mail Lists to be notified of program updates.

A hunter education course must be completed if a person has never had a hunting license or has no record of a previous license or hunter education. (Since 2017 the Apprentice License allows issuance of a license without proof of hunter education or previous license - restrictions apply.)

NOTE: DUE TO COVID-19 THE REGULAR HUNTER EDUCATION PROGRAM IS MODIFIED AT THIS TIME. SEE INFORMATION AT TOP OF PAGE.
The following information does NOT apply at this time:

As a member of the International Hunter Education Association, the NJ Hunter Education program prepares students to recognize, understand, and accept the serious responsibilities of hunting. Having safe and ethical hunters in the field is fundamental to the sport. To accomplish this, there are two courses: Archery and Firearms. Each course has two components: a home-study portion and the live-fire range session.

Home study allows students to learn the "classroom" material at their own pace and then attend the live-fire range session.
The live-fire range session consists of students working with instructors to demonstrate safe firearm handling and archery proficiency.

All students must attend the live-fire range session to complete the course.

Hunters who wish to use a rifle/muzzleloader who did not previously complete the Rifle Hunter Education Course (discontinued) must now complete the Firearms Course to obtain a Rifle Permit. Trapping classes, when scheduled, are posted on the Trapping Information page.

THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THE COURSE.

The live-fire range sessions are offered at locations throughout New Jersey through November.

HOW TO COMPLETE THE NJ HUNTER EDUCATION PROGRAM

Home Study Component
Complete HunterCourse.com
HunterEd.com logo

  • Complete this third-party interactive web-based program at HunterCourse.com.

    • Includes archery and firearm: both must be completed to receive certificate.

    • The course includes the final exam.

After completing HunterCourse.com log in to see the course schedule and register for a Hunter Education live-fire range session. Register for Firearms, Archery or both (requires a separate registration for each at different times - DO NOT REGISTER FOR BOTH AT THE SAME TIME!). Registration will open the last week of July. Be sure to use the studentís CID number.

Live-fire Range Session Locations and Directions

Attending the Live-fire Range Session
All Students Need to Bring:
  • Face mask (and maintain social distance)

  • HunterCourse.com certificate - REQUIRED TO PASS COURSE!

  • Positive attitude

  • Appropriate clothing for being outside.

  • Students 16 years of age or younger must be accompanied by parent or guardian.
Archery Students Need to Bring:

  • Face mask (and maintain social distance)

  • Studentís own bow (Crossbow students must be able to draw their own crossbow manually or with a cocking device.)
        Is My Bow Ready for Hunter Education?

  • Five (5) matched arrows

  • Ability to shoot 3 out of 5 arrows into a vital zone of a 3-D deer target at 15-20 yards
  • Firearms Students Need to Bring

  • Face mask (and maintain social distance)

  • Cased shotgun (Division will provide one if needed/preferred)

  • Eye and ear protection

  • Also see Firearms Course FAQs

    NOTE: Division will supply all ammunition - do NOT bring ammunition to the session

  • RELATED INFORMATION

    Supplemental Presentations Included In Current HunterCourse.com Program:

    State Hunter Training Areas

    To use any state Hunter Training Area (practice range) at least one person in a group is required to have a valid hunting license. Anyone under 13 must be under direct adult supervision.

    These ranges are provided by the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife's Hunter Education Program through federal funding from the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program. The federal funds are derived from manufacturers via an excise tax on guns, ammunition and archery equipment.

    After the Course

    Upon completion of a hunter education field session and passing the written exam (and bow proficiency test if applicable) registered students are issued their course completion card. When the card is presented to a license agent those 10 to 15 years of age are issued a free Youth License. (NOTE: Youths ages 10 to 13 must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult 21 years of age or older while hunting.) Those age 16 and older are eligible to purchase the license(s) for which they have proof of their course completion.

    Youth Hunting Opportunities

    The NJ Division of Fish and Wildlifeís popular Take a Kid Hunting Program is designed to provide a quality hunting experience for properly licensed youth hunters. See the Take a Kid Hunting Program page for details.

    Duplicate Hunter Education Cards

    If you completed a hunter education course and need a duplicate card see the Duplicate Hunter Education Card page.

    Becoming a Hunter Education Instructor

    New Jersey's Hunter Education Program relies on the dedication of trained volunteer instructors. If interested complete and fax (908-735-5689) or mail (NJ DFW - Hunter Education, 26 Rt. 173W, Hampton, NJ 08827) the application form (pdf, 90kb).

    General Information

    Hunter education courses are offered FREE by the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife. The training, classroom and range rental fees, books, equipment and ammunition are funded through the Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration Act, commonly called the Pittman-Robertson Act. This law imposes an excise tax, paid by the manufacturer, on all sporting arms, ammunition, archery equipment and hand-guns. The funds are distributed to the states by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Anyone seeking accommodations for a physical or learning disability, or a foreign language interpreter, should contact the Hunter Education Office at 856-629-0552 or toll-free at 877-2-HUNT-NJ, or via e-mail at njhuntered@dep.nj.gov.

    Equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from hunter education training programs is available to all individuals without regard to their race, color, national origin, sex, age, or handicap. Complaints of discrimination should be sent to the Office of Equal Opportunity, U.S. Department of Interior, Office of the Secretary, Washington, DC 20240.

    The Division is extremely proud that its Hunter Education program is continually recognized as one of the top programs in the country. The future of hunting in New Jersey remains rooted in hunter education.

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    Department of Environmental Protection
    P.O. Box 402
    Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

    Last Updated: August 4, 2020