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Hunter Safety

Who Must Take The Course?

Anyone born on or after January 1, 1980 may not be issued a hunting license unless he or she presents a valid Hunter Education Certificate of Competency issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Safety Education Division or another state.

Many states are now requiring adult hunters to furnish evidence of having completed a Hunter Education Course prior to issuance of a non-resident license. An Illinois Hunter Safety Education certificate is accepted by all other states.

How To Take The Course

Instructor-led Classes

The traditional and preferred hunter education method is through a 10 hour instructor-led class and demonstrations. Classes may be a few hours a night for 2-4 nights or a full weekend class. The final class will end with a test to pass the course. This type of class is free, unless there is some form of activity provided that the student may choose to participate in.

Interested individuals may call 1-800-832-2599 or check Class Schedules.

The Illinois Hunter Education Program consists of a minimum of ten hours of instruction. The educational material is based on a sixth-grade reading level. These courses cover the basics of:

  • hunter responsibility and ethics
  • tree stand safety
  • firearms and ammunition
  • field safety
  • first aid
  • bow hunting
  • muzzleloading
  • wildlife conservation and identification
  • state regulations

Individuals may participate in any scheduled class throughout the State. Persons completing the minimum 10 hours of instruction and successfully completing the final examination will receive a State of Illinois Certificate of Competency.

Online Self-Study / Field Day course

Students 17 years old and younger may study and complete each section of the course online, taking exams as they proceed. This option is provided by outside companies and there is a fee charged for the service. The student must also attend a Field Day which includes hands-on participation and a final exam.

NOTE: Prior to completing and paying for a Field Day Voucher, check the class listings for Field Day class availability.

Online Certification

If you are 18 years old or older you may complete the online course and receive your Hunter Education certification. This option is provided by outside companies and there is a fee charged for the service.

The Illinois authorized providers are, or

Learn to Hunt- The Hunter Recruitment Program provides FREE education and training workshops to teach ADULT participants how to hunt deer, turkey, squirrels, pheasants, ducks, geese and other game.

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