Archery season for deer and fall turkey began September 6.  Read the 2014-15 Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide before hunting.​

The hunting season for dove and some other migratory birds began September 1.  Read the 2014-15 Dove Hunting Guide before hunting.​

 Hunter Education

Effective March 1, 2014

All hunter education courses statewide will require online pre-registration. Once students find the desired event on our website, follow the simple instructions in order to complete pre-registration. Online Pre-Registration will allow cards to be processed 3 times more quickly, save instructor’s valuable time, while also cutting back on paper waste.

Hunter Education Requirement

Effective March 1, 1991, all hunters born on or after January 1, 1975 shall while hunting carry a valid hunter education course completion card in addition to the appropriate Kentucky hunting license. A bow hunter not in possession of a firearm may carry a "National Bowhunter Education Program" course completion card in lieu of the hunter education card.

 

Steps Toward Hunter Education

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Hunter Education Volunteer Instructor

Becoming certified as a Hunter Education Instructor is a great way to insure the continuation of Kentucky's hunting tradition. Every year over 15,000 Kentucky citizens learn about safe and ethical hunting by participating in the ten (10) hour Kentucky Hunter Education Course.

On an average year from 800 to 1,000 Kentucky Hunter Education Instructors team up to teach around 400 individual courses all over the state. Subject matter for a Hunter Education course includes but is not limited to training in firearms, ammunition, first aid, survival in the outdoors, wildlife identification and management, and basic bowhunting. Students participate in classroom sessions and live fire field training with guns and archery tackle.

The twelve (12) hour Hunter Education Instructor Course will prepare participants to take an active part in this program. The content of a typical instructor course includes Kentucky Hunter Education Policies and Procedures, practice teaching of classroom and range subjects, use of audio visual equipment, and a 100 question written test. You must have completed the ten (10) hour student course prior to taking the Instructor Course.

The program can always use a few more good men and women who are interested in insuring a future for hunting and shooting sports.

View Volunteer Instructor Courses

Temporary Hunter Education Exemption Permit

The temporary hunter education exemption permit allows a person to hunt for one year without first completing a hunter education course. The permit will be available online for a $5 fee and is available to both Kentucky residents and nonresidents. “License sales have been going down over the years, and we were looking for a solution to the problem,” said Bill Balda, hunter education supervisor for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

We want people to try hunting, to take advantage of Kentucky’s wildlife resources. Bill Balda, KDFWR

Kentucky’s hunter education law requires all license-required hunters born on or after January 1, 1975 to pass a hunter education course and carry the course completion card when hunting. However, hunters who have the new permit will be exempt from this law for one year from the date of purchase. “We made the permit effective for 12 months from the date of purchase, to give hunters an opportunity to try all the hunting opportunities Kentucky has to offer,” Balda said.

The permit is available only one time. Once it expires, hunters are no longer exempt and must successfully complete a hunter education course.

Hunters who carry the permit must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult hunter at least 18 years old who meets the hunter education requirement. The adult must remain in a position to take immediate control of the exempted hunter’s bow or firearm while hunting. Adult supervision is also required for all hunters under the age of 10, and for all firearm deer, elk and turkey hunters 15 and under. “We did not want the accident rate to go up,” said Balda. “Texas began a similar permit in 2004, and there was no increase in hunting incidents.”

Kids don’t have to take the course until they turn 12 years old, instead of the previous age of 10. Also, kids cannot take the hunter education test until they turn 9. During the three-year window between ages nine and 12, kids have many opportunities to take a course. More than 300 hunter education courses are scheduled throughout Kentucky each year.

Landowners who are hunting on their own land, and other license-exempt hunters, are not required to take a hunter education course. However, the course is strongly recommended.  For complete information on hunter education, call 1-800-858-1549.

Exceptions

  1. Children under 12 years of age may hunt without a course completion card, but shall be accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age. One adult shall not accompany more than two children at one time.
  2. Persons exempt from buying a license are not required to possess a hunter education course completion card (i.e., resident owners of farmlands, tenants, etc.).

Instructor Contact Information