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.
Get Hunter Education Certified
There are 3 ways to get certified in Hunter Education:
Take the course by CD-ROM - Please call 800-858-1549 ext. 4404 to request a copy of the CD-ROM by mail.
If you took the course either online or by CD-ROM, you must complete the course by finding a Range Day. View the schedule here.
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 how to be a safe and ethical hunter by participating in a Kentucky Hunter Education Course or Range Day.
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 firearms and/or archery tackle.
The Hunter Education Instructor training process will prepare instructor candidates to take an active part in this program. The process to becoming a hunter education instructor has three steps:
Step 1. Take the Hunter Education Course in Kentucky, as a student.
In order to become effective teachers, new instructors must be familiar with the student course and must have taken the course to experience it from the student’s perspective. You do not have to retake the course if you’ve already completed it. Verification of course completion is required.
Step 2. Request and Complete an Instructor Candidate Packet.
The instructor packet includes an application, 35 question pre-test, student manuals, and other important information regarding the program. Instructor candidates must complete this packet before attending a Hunter Education Instructor Course.
To receive a packet, email your name and address to FWHunterEd@ky.gov
Step 3. Attend a Hunter Education Instructor Course.
The content of a typical instructor course includes Kentucky Hunter Education Policies and Procedures, practice teaching of classroom subjects, how to run effective range days, and online student registration. Again, you must have completed the student course and instructor packet prior to taking the Instructor Course. Click below for a schedule of classes.
View Volunteer Instructor Courses
Finally, the program can always use a few more good men and women who are interested in insuring a future for hunting and shooting sports. For questions regarding instructor training, contact the Hunter Training Officer for your county by using the map below.
Hunter Ed Region Map
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.
- 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.
- 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