Who Needs Hunter Education in Texas?

This blog post discusses who needs to take hunter education in Texas in order to be able to hunt. It covers the requirements for both residents and non-residents, as well as some exemptions.

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In Texas, anyone born on or after September 2, 1971, must complete a Hunter Education Training Course to hunt in the state. All hunters must carry their Hunter Education Certification card while hunting. The card is proof that the hunter has successfully completed the course and is valid for the life of the hunter.

Who is required to take Hunter Education in Texas?

In Texas, anyone born on or after September 2, 1971, must successfully complete a Hunter Education Training Course to hunt in Texas. Hunter Education is required for all first-time hunters regardless of age. The course must be completed before a hunting license can be issued. The goals of the Hunter Education Program are to reduce hunting accidents and promote safer, more responsible hunting.

Age requirements

In Texas, anyone born on or after September 2, 1971, must completed an approved Hunter Education Training Course before they can purchase a hunting license. A hunting license allows an individual to hunt for most legal game animals in Texas. The courses are designed to foster a greater understanding and knowledge of wildlife conservation and the rules and regulations of hunting.

Exceptions to the Hunter Education requirement

There are a few exceptions to the Hunter Education requirement:
-If you are under 17 years of age, you may hunt without completing Hunter Education if you are supervised by a licensed adult 21 years of age or older. The adult must remain close enough to take immediate control of the hunting device;
-If you have completed Hunter Education in another state or province that offers reciprocity with Texas, and you can provide proof of completion (a course completion card, certificate or Hunter Safety Number from the other state), you will not have to take Hunter Education in Texas;
-If you are an Active Duty member, Reservist or National Guardsman of the United States Armed Forces, the United States Armed Forces Reserve or the Texas National Guard, you may show your active military identification card (with photo) in lieu of completing Hunter Education;
-If you are a Native American actively enrolled in a federally recognized Indian tribe, as defined by 30 C.F.R. Part 46, you may show your tribal enrollment card in lieu of completing Hunter Education.

How to take Hunter Education in Texas

Anyone born on or after September 2, 1971, must successfully complete a Hunter Education Training Course and Hunter Education Training Certification to hunt in Texas. The certification is valid for the lifetime of the individual. The course may be taken online, in-person, or via a home study course.

Online Hunter Education

Hunter education is required for anyone born after Sept. 2, 1971, who wants to hunt in Texas. If you’re 18 or older, you can take the course online. You can also take an instructor-led course or a combination online and instructor-led course. The online portion of the combination course must be completed before taking the field day portion of the course.

Traditional Hunter Education

Hunter education helps develop knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for the safe and responsible enjoyment of hunting. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offers opportunities for students to learn these skills through a variety of methods including:

– traditional instruction in a classroom setting;
– home study courses completed online, by correspondence or a combination of both; and
– an online course followed by a field day.

A student may complete hunter education through any one of the following methods offered:

-Classroom: A minimum of 10 hours of instruction is required, which includes completion of a written examination. The certified volunteer instructor conducts classes at various locations around the state. Contact your local game warden or TPWD law enforcement office to find out when the next class will be offered in your area. You can also search the Events Calendar for upcoming hunter education classes. Online registration for most classes is available.

-Home Study Course: The Home Study Course consists of reading the Hunter Education Manual and passing an accompanying written examination. The Hunter Education Manuals are available from TPWD offices, many sporting goods stores or online from the TPWD website. Manuals may also be checked out from most public libraries. To receive credit for completing the home study course, you must pass the written examination with a score of 70 percent or better. The examinations are administered by certified volunteer instructors at various locations around the state or by GAME WARDENS whenever they conduct an investigation in which someone involved does not have proof of successfully completing hunter education (as evidenced by a certification card or other document issued by TPWD).

-Online Course Followed by Field Day: The Online Hunter Education Course is provided as an alternative for students 15 years old and older who have access to the internet and want the convenience of completing their hunter education requirements at home on their own schedule. Students must pass an online exam with a score of 80 percent or better to receive a certificate of completion that is valid for one year. Within that year, students must attend and successfully complete a four-hour field day to receive their certification card, which has no expiration date.


In Texas, anyone born after September 2, 1971, must complete a Hunter Education Training Course to hunt in the state. The course must be approved by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and successfully completed before a person can buy a hunting license. Exceptions to the Hunter Education Training Course requirement include:
-Anyone who hunts on land they own or lease
-Members of a hunting club or ranch on which they have paid to hunt
-Residents of another state who are hunting in Texas with a valid out-of-state hunting license

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