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Texas Hunter Education Program

       
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By texas parks and wildlife

HUNTER EDUCATION BEGAN AS A VOLUNTARY PROGRAM IN 1972. “MANDATORY” HUNTER EDUCATION BECAME LAW IN 1988, REQUIRING HUNTERS BORN ON OR AFTER SEPT. 2, 1971,TO PASS THE COURSE. SINCE THAT TIME, TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT HAS CERTIFIED OVER 750,000 STUDENTS.

THE INSTRUCTORS

About 3,000 certified volunteer instructors, teachers and game wardens have been trained to teach hunter education across Texas. Many instructors have the time and experience and wish to give back of themselves to the hunting heritage in Texas. Instructors must be 21 years of age, of high moral character, must have passed the student course, file an application, meet with a game warden and attend a two-day instructor course.

 

THE COURSE

There are two ways to take the student course in Texas.

Structured courses are a minimum of 10 hours of coursework and hands-on activities over a minimum period of two days.

Home Study or Internet courses are comprised of two steps. The first step is self-completion of a home study workbook or Internet lessons. The second step is a one-day course and field session including ethics, hands-on skills and live-firing activities and written exam. Individuals must complete the workbook or print all Internet quizzes (11) and present them to the instructor upon registration.

Note: Failure to complete and present these items may prevent entry to the testing session.

 

AVAILABILITY OF COURSES OR SCHEDULE

Most courses are taught by volunteer instructors, trained and certified by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department hunter education staff. Courses are scheduled in each of the 254 counties at least once a year. For availability, look on the Web site www.tpwd.state.tx.us/education  under “Classes by Date or by City,” or call (800) 792-1112, menu 62.

 

THE COURSE COVERS:

-Hunting Rules and Regulations
-Ethics and Responsibilities
-Wildlife Management/Conservation
-Modern and Primitive Sporting Arms/ Ammunition
-Safe Firearm Handling, Cleaning and Storage
-Outdoor Skills, Survival and First Aid
-Wildlife Identification
-Live-Firing and Field Exercises (often included).

 

CERTIFICATION

When you successfully complete the course, you’ll receive a certification card.

-Certification is good for life.
-Other states, provinces or jurisdictions honor Texas certification.
-You must carry proof of certification on your person while hunting.
-Proof of certification is either your card or your hunter education number printed on your hunting license. Check your license upon purchase.
-Proof of certification is NOT required to purchase a license.

If you lose your card, you may request a free duplicate by going to the Web site www.tpwd.state.tx.us/education under “Replace a Card,” fill in the required information and submit. Otherwise, you may contact TPWD at (800) 792-1112, (menu 63), or (512) 389-4999.

 

CAN I FAIL THE COURSE?

Yes. You can fail the course because of unsatisfactory knowledge, skill or attitude as evaluated by your instructor. The minimum score on the Structured final exam is 70 percent, and the minimum score on the Home Study exam is 80 percent. However, if you achieve a higher score, but are determined to lack safe skills during live-firing or field exercises or as a result of classroom disruptions, improper attitude or incomplete attendance you may fail the course.

 

MAY I TAKE THE COURSE BEFORE AGE 9?

Yes. Anyone may take the course before age 9, and upon successful completion, including passing the written exam, will receive a “Certificate of Attendance.” Certification is required for individuals to participate in the Texas Youth Hunting Program youth hunts. You will not automatically receive certification upon turning age 9, and you must retake the course after turning age 9 for official certification.

 

HUNTER EDUCATION DEFERRAL

The deferral allows a person 17 years of age or older who has not completed a hunter education program to defer completion until Aug. 31 of the current license year. The deferral costs $10 and may only be obtained one time. Note: A person who has been convicted or has received deferred adjudication for violation of the mandatory hunter education requirement is prohibited from applying for a deferral. Take the course by Aug. 31 of the current license year and receive a $5 discount off the regular course fee of $15.

 

WHO MAY PURCHASE THE DEFERRAL

Any individual 17 years of age or older who has not completed the hunter education course may purchase the deferral. The deferral will be available at any license vendor. The deferral is to accommodate those who:

-are taking up hunting at a later age.
-have been out of hunting for a while.
-are military personnel home on leave or stationed in Texas.
-are college students home during the holidays.
-are from out-of-state and do not have similar requirements in their jurisdiction or country.

In all cases, a person 17 years of age or older, who is licensed to hunt in Texas, has completed hunter education (or was born prior to Sept. 2, 1971) must accompany a hunter with a deferral and be within normal voice control.

 

COST

Certification by the state, either by home study or structured method, costs $15. However, there may be additional “optional” costs associated with the course such as building or facility use fees, parking fees and range fees. These fees are optional to the student, and individuals may select another location to attend the course to avoid paying these additional fees. Check with the instructor regarding any additional fees.  

 

BOWHUNTERS

Additional bowhunter education courses are available, and certification is required on certain areas of Texas (Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, Pottsboro; Camp Bullis, San Antonio and Schreiner Park, Kerrvile). Note: Bowhunter education does not substitute for hunter education certification. Several other states and provinces require bowhunter education certification in addition to hunter education. Always check with the jurisdiction in which you hunt.

For course information, please consult the TPWD Web site (www.tpwd.state.tx.us/education) or call toll-free (800) 792-1112 (menu 63) or (512) 389-4999.

 

HUNTER EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS:

Note: Certification is not required to purchase a hunting license.

Every hunter (including out-of-state hunters) born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, must successfully complete a Hunter Education Course. If you were born on or after Sept. 2, 1971 and you are:

-under 9 years of age, you must be accompanied.*

-age 9 16, you must successfully complete a hunter education course, or you must be accompanied.*

 -age 17 and over, you must successfully complete a hunter education course; or purchase a one-time only “Hunter Education Deferral,” and you must be accompanied.*

*Accompanied means: by a person who is at least 17, who is licensed to hunt in Texas, who has passed hunter education or is exempt (born before Sept. 2, 1971) and who is within normal voice control. Proof of certification or deferral is required to be on your person while hunting.

 

IT’S UP TO YOU

Hunter Education is the first step in a lifelong commitment to responsible outdoor behavior, conservation and stewardship. Your efforts will safeguard hunting opportunities and other outdoor adventures. Your contributions through federal sports tax dollars will continue to be used to conserve our natural resources for present and future generations. We thank the hunter conservationists of yesterday and welcome you as we continue the heritage of hunting in Texas. Always be a safe and responsible hunter!

Information by texas parks and wildlife
www.tpwd.state.tx.us

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