Man showing a woman how to fire a rifle

Hunter Education

Hunter Education Requirement

Effective March 1, 1991, all hunters born on or after January 1, 1975, must carry proof of valid hunter education certification. Hunters may use hunting licenses or electronic documentation with proof of identity.​

Get Ready for the Field!​​​​

Education Day

August 3, 2024

​​​ Calendar​


  1. Children younger than 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.)

Live Fire Exemption for Military and Kentucky Peace Officers

Under 301 KAR 2:185, there is an exemption for members of the Armed Forces and Kentucky peace officers from the live fire exercise portion of hunter education. In order for a student to be exempt, they must email their regional HTO their online course completion certificate and documentation that proves their employment as a Kent​ucky peace officer, status as a current member of the Armed Forces, or status as a retired or veteran member of the Armed Forces as laid out here in the Live Fire Exemptions Instructions.

Get Hunter Education Certified

Please Note: Pre-registration is now required for all hunter education courses.

Instructor Led Hunter Education Student Course

This in-person training course includes study in Hunter Ethics, Wildlife Conservation and Identification, Field Care of Game, First Aid, Firearm Safety, Archery and Muzzleloading. The last session of the course will include a written test and a live fire exercise. All materials, including firearms and ammunition, are provided at NO CHARGE. Click to see Kentucky Hunter Education Course List and Registration.

Hunter Education Range Day Course (In Person)

RANGE DAY: This training is for those who have completed the classroom session of the hunter education course via alternative means (internet or CD-Rom). Students must bring the proper completion certificate from a KDFWR-approved online course or CD-Rom. The range day will include a live fire exercise. All materials, including firearms and ammunition, are provided at NO CHARGE. Click to see the Kentucky Hunter Education Range Day Course list and Registration.

Online Courses

Students may self-study through the hunter ed​ucation course by completing one of the internet options below. In order to fully complete the certification requirements, once the student completes the online course, they must pre-register and attend a RANGE DAY where they will participate in a live fire exercise.

Step 1: Start an Online Course
Step 2: Pre-register and attend "Range Day"

Temporary (1-Year) Hunter Education Exemption Permit

The temporary hunter education exemption permit allows a per​​​​son to hunt for one year without first completing a hunter education course. The permit will be available online for free (for a limited time) and is available to both Kentucky residents and nonresidents.

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 issued.

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 younger.

Children don’t have to take the course until they turn 12 years old. Children cannot take the hunter education test until they turn 9. During the three-year window between ages 9 and 12, children 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.

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. For questions regarding instructor training, contact the Hunter Training Officer for your county by using the map below.​

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Instructor Contact Information

 Hunter Education Regions

Region 1 (Western KY)
Courtney Goodman
(502) 234-8839

Region 2 (Central and Southern KY)
Jayne Wilson
(502) 352-0550

Region 3 (Eastern KY)
Jack Lee
(606) 471-5257

Region 4 (Central and Northern KY)
Justin Hamilton
(502) 352-0573​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​