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Hunter Education Program

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The Delaware Hunter Education Program

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 & 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.

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.

Mandatory Live-fire Requirement and Release of Liability Waiver

Since January 1, 2010, section 501 Delaware Code Title 7 has required all basic hunter education students to participate in a live firing experience with a trained firearms instructor in order to complete the course.

Insurance rules of the State of Delaware require all participants in any course which includes live firing to sign a “Release From Liability Waiver”. This form is a legal release.

Sign up for a course online at https://de.gov/huntersafety or call (302) 735-3600 Ext. 1.

  • Participants under 18 must have a parent/guardian sign with verification by a notary.
  • Participants 18 or older must fill out, sign and mail the waiver to the Hunter Education office.

If you have any questions or want to make sure your waiver has arrived at our office, please call (302) 735-3600 Ext. 1.

 

Need a New Hunter Education Card?

• WANT TO SEE WHERE & WHEN COURSES ARE SCHEDULED?

• NEED TO UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS OR CHANGE YOUR CONTACT INFO?

• WANT TO SIGN UP FOR A COURSE?

• Need a replacement card?

USE YOUR ONLINE ACCESS AT: https://de.gov/huntersafety

IMPORTANT NOTICE

Courses including live firing are offered free of charge throughout the year. Certification will not be issued to any person under the age of ten (10). 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 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.

Youth Participants

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.

Don’t wait until the last minute to take the course!

Classes are usually available somewhere in the state during every month of the year.

If you plan to go hunting in the coming season, and you need hunter education certification in order to buy a hunting license, check the latest online schedule today at https://de.gov/huntersafety.

Register for the course of your choice online at https://de.gov/huntersafety or call (302) 735-3600 Ext. 1 during business hours. All course schedules are subject to cancellation or change without notice. It can take several weeks to process tests and enter the results into our computer.

COURSE OFFERINGS AND LOCATIONS

Please note that our courses are taught by volunteer instructors who schedule most of their courses from late August through December. All class details are subject to change without notice based on availability of instructors and sufficient student participation. The classes listed below may not always be available. Not all of the printed locations may be used. The online schedule is the most accurate and will be updated immediately as soon as new courses are available and posted.

Traditional, Live Basic Hunter Education Courses

Seating is limited. Advance online registration at https://de.gov/huntersafety is required for all courses or call (302) 735-3600 Ext. 1.

New hunters learn safety, ethics, firearm types, safe gun handling, marksmanship techniques, specialty hunting techniques, wildlife management, wildlife ID, survival, etc. Delaware requires hunter ed certification via traditional live course or via internet course and field day for all hunters born after January 1, 1967. The courses are recognized in all states and Canadian provinces.

Sign up for traditional basic hunter education course given live at one of the classroom locations throughout the state. Delaware law now requires all basic hunter education course participants to participate in a live firing experience with a trained instructor. Live firing of shotguns requires a liability release signed by students 18 or older or a notarized signature of parents/guardians of students under the age of 18. All students must have protective shooting glasses and hearing protection. Adult and youth firearms, targets and ammunition will be provided. All live courses are free of charge with most held in the late summer and fall. Classes are available all year at Ommelanden Hunter/Trapper Education Center on Route 9 near New Castle. Pre-registration is required. To sign up, go to the Hunter Education Online Access at https://de.gov/huntersafety or call (302) 735-3600 Ext. 1.

Online Option For Basic Hunter Education Courses

Complete your hunter education coursework online with one of three private vendors. All three courses allow you to study and take the exam for free, with a fee due only when you are ready to have the vendor certify your successful completion. The State of Delaware has reviewed and approved these interactive courses but receives no portion of the vendor’s fee. New hunters learn safety, ethics, firearm types, safe gun handling, hunting and marksmanship skills, specialty hunting techniques, wildlife management, wildlife ID, survival, etc. Students with certificates in hand must then register and attend a specially designed, “hands–on” field day training session for final Delaware certification. Field day training for online courses includes Delaware laws and regulations, loading, unloading, safe handling and transporting of firearms; field skills involving blinds, boats and tree stands; zones of fire; obstacle crossing; operation of safeties and shotgun live firing.

Live firing of shotguns requires a liability release signed by students 18 or older or a notarized signature of parents/guardians of students under the age of 18. All students must have protective shooting glasses and hearing protection. Adult and youth firearms, targets and ammunition will be provided. For more information Delaware approved Internet courses visit https://de.gov/huntersafety or call (302) 735-3600 Ext. 1.

Ibep Bowhunter Education

Seating is limited. Advance online registration at https://de.gov/huntersafety is required for all courses or call (302) 735-3600 Ext. 1.

Though not a Delaware requirement, this special course is required in many other states and provinces for bowhunters. Participants in this course learn bowhunting methods, game trailing and recovery, field experience, bowhunting safety, reading game signs, safe use of tree stands, calling, field dressing, and more. Youths under the age of 14 must attend with a responsible adult.

Live firing and a signed release of liability and advance online registration are required for participation at https://de.gov/huntersafety.

Young Waterfowlers Program

Participation is limited. Advance online registration at https://de.gov/huntersafety is required for all courses or call (302) 735-3600 Ext. 1.

Always a favorite, these courses (approx 20 hours) provide youths between the ages of 12 – 16, exposure to the complete waterfowl experience. Everything from waterfowl ID, biology, blind construction and safety, decoy use, duck calling, camouflage technique, boating safety, bird recovery, laws and regulations, language and tradition, firearms, ammo and equipment will be covered. The course includes basic hunter education and finishes with an actual mentored waterfowl hunt. Participants must be hunter education qualified prior to hunting.

A signed release of liability and advance online registration at https://de.gov/huntersafety are required for participation.

Mandatory Turkey Education

Seating is limited. Confirm course dates. Advance online registration at https://de.gov/huntersafety is required for all courses or call (302) 735-3600 Ext. 1.

In addition to complying with other hunter education requirements, all hunters 13 years of age or older must successfully complete a Delaware-approved turkey hunter education course before they can legally hunt turkeys in Delaware.

Upon successful completion of this course, hunters will need to reprint their hunting license (if they already have a license) as completion of the course will be indicated on the license. Hunters that have already successfully completed the course will no longer need to carry a card as proof of completion as long as their hunting license indicates they have completed the course. In addition, public land hunters must have an annual permit from the Division if hunting on a State Wildlife Area or from the Delaware Department of Agriculture if hunting on a State Forest.

Online Turkey Course Option

Delaware also accepts two online turkey courses:

Note: Upon completion of the online course, students must contact the Hunter Education office at huntereducation@delaware.gov or (302) 735-3600 (Ext. 1) to update their account to reflect course completion. Students will be required to submit a copy of their course completion certificate. Please include a phone number where the Hunter Education Office may call, in case there are any questions.

Mandatory Trapper Education

Seating is limited. Advance online registration at https://de.gov/huntersafety is required for all courses or call (302) 735-3600 Ext. 1.

Trapper education is a mandatory prerequisite for purchasing a Delaware trapping license for all persons born after January 1, 1978. Class and Field work sessions include trapping history, heritage and ethics, furbearing animals of Delaware, trapping equipment, boating safety, hypothermia, practical water sets, hands-on instruction, how tides affect sets, proper skinning techniques, fur handling and how to market furs.

Online Option for Trapper Course:

Delaware also accepts an online trapper course that can be found at www.trappered.com (Illinois Basic Trapper Course and Kansas Furbearer Course). Upon completion of the online course, students must contact the Hunter Education office at huntereducation@delaware.gov or (302) 735-3600 Ext. 1 to update their account to reflect course completion. Students will be required to submit a copy of their course completion certificate. Please include a phone number where the Hunter Education Office may call, in case there are any questions.

For more information about additional classes or the Hunter Education Program, visit our website at https://de.gov/huntersafety

Or contact:

The Hunter Education Office

6180 Hay Point Landing Road

Smyrna, DE 19977

(302) 735-3600 Ext. 1.

Delaware Master Hunter

Seating is limited. Advance online registration at https://de.gov/huntersafety is required for all courses or call (302) 735-3600 Ext. 1.

Not for Beginners.

You are already an experienced hunter. You love hunting; you read about it and think about it all year long. You are dedicated to the principles of ethical, responsible, fair chase hunting. You’ve learned a lot over the years but you are always ready to learn more. You want to keep yourself up to date with the latest hunting developments, trends, tactics, skills and regulations. You realize that there is a lot more to learn about wildlife, wildlife management and the role of hunting in our modern society. You know that hunting is a controversial issue and you want to keep up to date on what’s happening in Delaware. You’d like to benefit from the opportunity to learn from your peers and share some of the things you’ve learned the hard way. As a lifelong advocate and ambassador for hunting you want to help continue the heritage of hunting and ensure its future for the coming generations. You’d value the personal satisfaction of being a Delaware Master Hunter, officially qualified, certified and recognized by the State of Delaware.

If the above description sounds like you, you may be a candidate for the Delaware Master Hunter Program. Download an application and check the online schedule for dates at https://de.gov/huntersafety or call (302) 735-3600 Ext. 1 and ask for an application by mail for this unique, one-of-a-kind program. The Delaware Hunter Education Office of the Division of Fish & Wildlife will be glad to mail you an application form and an information sheet with details about the next course. 

Directions to Hunter/Trapper Education Classroom Locations

Cedarfield Ruritan Club -Milford

From Route 113 South: Head South on Rt. 113. Before coming to the Rt. 113/Rt. 1 split you will see I.G. Burton car dealership on your right. Pass the dealership and immediately take the 1st right onto Tub Mill Pond Road. Wind around the “S” curve and the Ruritan Club (white building) is on your left.

DNREC / Div F & W Auditorium in the R & R Building – 89 Kings Highway in Dover

From US 13, turn west on Loockerman Street. Cross the bridge and turn right at the first traffic light (next to the Post Office). The road leads directly into the DNREC building parking lot.

Hunter Education Needs You!

Have you ever thought of becoming a Delaware Volunteer Hunter – Trapper Education Instructor?

Download an application at https://de.gov/huntersafety, and mail it to the Office of Hunter Education, 6180 Hay Point Landing Road, Smyrna, DE 19977, or call the Hunter Education Coordinator at (302) 735-3600 Ext. 1 with questions about the program.