There’s still time to sign up for hunter education

News release

Kris Thorson, 360-902-8410
Sam Montgomery (media), 360-688-0721

OLYMPIA — Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) hunter education classes are available now.

"Summer is a great time to enroll in hunter education class because as fall hunting seasons draw near, seats in these courses fill quickly," said David Whipple, WDFW hunter education section manager. “Beat the fall rush and sign up today, especially before school and related activities begin.”

WDFW offers both traditional and online options to complete the hunter education requirement. The traditional classroom experience includes direct person-to-person instruction from certified volunteer instructors. This format is especially beneficial to younger students, as well as those seeking more time with our highly qualified and passionate instructors. WDFW schedules classes statewide, but due to instructor and facility availability, challenges may arise in locating a class.

The online course offers the same content and can be completed according to the student's schedule. Students aged 17 and younger who take the online course are required to complete an in-person field skills evaluation led by certified instructors. As hunting season approaches, field skills evaluation classes can fill very quickly. Currently, students 18 years and older can complete the online course, which includes a virtual field day, to become certified.

However, those students 18 years and older who complete the online course will almost always benefit from attending an in-person field skills evaluation with certified instructors.

To learn about hunter education requirements or find a course, new hunters should visit the WDFW hunter education webpage.

Hunters born after Jan. 1, 1972 must show proof of completion of hunter education before buying their first Washington hunting license. Washington honors all 50 states hunter education certifications. Those who are unable to complete a hunter education course before the fall hunting seasons may qualify for a hunter education deferral. For more information on the deferral, visit

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.

Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Civil Rights Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email ( For more information, see