BOISE – With most hunting seasons a few short months away, some instructor-led Hunter Education classes are resuming, and new hunters can also get certified through an online course.
Due to COVID-19, Idaho Fish and Game suspended in-person classes in spring 2020 and shifted to online only while also removing the requirement for a field day to get a Hunter Education certificate.
Because Hunter Education is taught mostly by volunteers and Fish and Game officials want to ensure all instructors and students remain safe, in-person courses are gradually reopening throughout the state. Because Covid concerns remain, the safety of students, instructors and staff is a priority, and Fish and Game officials are working on safety protocols to continue instructor-led courses.
“While some classes are resuming, we can’t ensure there will be classroom space available for everyone who wants to take Hunter Education through an instructor,” said Brenda Beckley, Hunter Education Manager. “We don’t want to interrupt or delay people’s ability to get their hunter education certification before hunting season, so online courses continue to be an option.”
Traditionally, students who took the online Hunter Education course were required to attend a field day to get certified, but that requirement has been indefinitely waived to allow people 9 years or older to pass the online course only and be immediately eligible to buy a hunting license. The online course costs $32.50, and people can sign up at hunter-ed.com/idaho/.
Beckley said while online courses provide convenience, she also understands the benefits of new hunters learning from experienced Hunter Education instructors, so the department will continue trying to offer as many in-person courses as possible. People can see what classes are available on the Hunter Education webpage.
“We know Hunter Education is a rite of passage for many young Idahoans, so we want to provide that in-person experience with our skilled and knowledgeable volunteers, but we also want to do it safely and allow everyone to get certified in a timely manner,” Beckley said.