To hunt legally in Texas, anyone born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, must complete a hunter education training course or purchase a one-time ‘deferral’, good for one license year. Because the minimum age of certification is 9 years old, hunters under the age of 9 must be accompanied by a licensed hunter in the field. Hunters ages 9 through 16 must either complete hunter education courses or be accompanied while in the field. Deferral purchasers must also be ‘accompanied’ which means to be within normal voice control of a licensed hunter 17 years of age or older who has completed hunter education or who was born before Sept. 2, 1971. Hunters 17 and up must complete hunter education courses.
To make this process easier than ever, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department now offers the option of completing training courses completely online for Texas residents 17 years and older.
However, TPWD also offers three other convenient methods of getting certified: the basic, enhanced and advanced courses, which involve classroom and/or field time.
The basic hunter education course is designed for novice and young hunters ages 9 and above and requires six hours of classroom instruction. The enhanced hunter education course is a combination of an online home study program and up to five hours of field training. The advanced hunter education course requires more than six hours of instruction and includes more content than the basic and enhanced courses.
Each of the courses costs $15, and the passing grade for all courses is 75 percent.
Since mandatory hunter education first started in 1988, the number of hunting accidents and fatalities has declined to fewer than 3 per 100,000 hunters. Incidents involving those who had completed hunter education courses are only in the single digits each year.
To help improve hunter safety, choose from one of the many flexible options to get your hunter education certification now. For more information and to register for hunter education programs, visit http://www.tpwd.texas.gov/outdoor-learning/hunter-education.
The certification is valid for life and is honored in all other states and provinces.
Some federally controlled areas require all hunters using that site to have hunter education certification. In Texas, this includes Corps of Engineers property and most military reservations. Check with the specific area prior to going hunting.