Delaware’s Hunter Education Program was established in 1970. Section 501, Title 7, Delaware Code, requires all persons born after January 1, 1967 to satisfactorily complete a Basic Hunter Education Course in order to obtain a Delaware hunting license or Youth Hunting License. Since 1970, tens of thousands of Delaware hunters have been certified by the volunteer instructors of the Delaware Hunter Education Program. The program has been extremely successful and effective in significantly reducing risk and accidents.
Emerging factors such as changing demographics and the decreasing amount of habitat and accessible open space for hunting have created new considerations for hunters, landowners, the Division of Fish and Wildlife and Delaware’s general public who may or may not be hunters themselves. In response, the Delaware Hunter Education Program has also changed to meet the demands and challenges of a new hunting era. In addition to a live firing requirement, today’s curriculum includes an increased emphasis on safety and ethical behavior landowner relations, wildlife identification, wildlife management and conservation, hunting laws and regulations.
Courses including live firing are offered free of charge throughout the year. All firearms and ammunition are provided by the Hunter Education Program. Please try to complete your training at least one month before you plan to hunt. Your certification cards can be printed out online a few days after you complete the course. The card must be presented to purchase a Delaware hunting license.
Advance registration is required.
Seating is limited and classes will fill quickly as hunting season approaches. Delaware law now requires live firing of a shotgun as part of basic hunter education.
A releases of liability is required for participation in any hunter education course with live firing.
The form is a legal release. It can be downloaded and filled out when registering online or requested by calling the Hunter Education Office – 302-735-3600.
If you are under 18, a parent or guardian needs to sign for you and have their signature verified by a notary.
If you are 18 or older, you don’t need to have the waiver notarized but you still need to sign it and mail it back.
Please return original to the hunter education office one week prior to course begin to complete your course registration.
A copy is also available in the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide or may be picked up at the DNREC R & R Building at 89 Kings Highway in Dover. Certification will not be issued to youths under the age of ten. Students under the age of twelve must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Parents are reminded that younger students require a level of maturity and vocabulary sufficient for understanding adult subject matter and completing assignments. Students of smaller physical body size may find it very difficult or impossible to successfully complete live firing exercises.
The Delaware Hunter Education Program is committed to preserving Delaware’s heritage of fair chase hunting. In addition to mandatory Basic Hunter Education, Turkey Education and Trapper Education courses, the program offers advanced courses in Bowhunting, Muzzleloading, Handgun Hunting for Deer, Successful Deer Hunting, Precision Firearms for Large Game, Young Waterfowler’s Program, Deer Workshops etc. The Delaware Master Hunter program now provides advanced hunter education for the experienced hunter and additionally strives to develop advocates, ambassadors and role models for hunting with the goal of continuing the heritage of responsible hunting and insuring its future for generations to come. All of these courses and programs give the hunter/trapper a resource for continued educational opportunities that keep the hunter updated in specific disciplines. Hunters have a responsibility to themselves, other hunters, the landowner and the wildlife, to continue their education beyond the basics. More information is available online at www.fw.delaware.gov, or call the Hunter Education Coordinator at 302-735-3600.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.