Having to attend a class in-person can be a drag, but thanks to our modern world, you can take just about any type of class online. Hunter safety courses are no exception. Today, we are going to take a comparative look at some of the top online hunter safety course options.
Whether you are obtaining your license for the first time or simply renewing it, these courses are sure to get you certified.
Not only will we provide you with our shortlist of options for online hunter safety course options, but we are also going to give you some essential tips about some considerations that you should make before committing to any particular course, such as the cost, quality, customer ratings and reviews, and more.
Let’s dive right in!
The What and Why of Online Hunter Safety Courses
The first and most prominent organization that you will want to familiarize yourself with when searching for online hunter safety courses is the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA). Their goal is to create “safe, responsible, knowledgeable, and involved hunters” through the education of hunters, both novice and veteran. This organization is a great go-to source for information about hunting safety and requirements.
Each state has a hunting agency or wildlife department that lays down the rules and requirements for safety courses. The IHEA assists the general public by aggregating and developing educational resources that are designed with state regulations in mind. You can also scroll down on their homepage to find links to each state agency, which is helpful when you are trying to get certified for your own state and not somewhere else!
Each state has specific requirements for who needs to take a hunter safety course and the requirements can be quite complicated as they are typically written in legal jargon.
Here is a bullet list that might make it a little easier to understand the guidelines in Texas:
- Any hunter born on or after September 2nd, 1971 needs to take a hunter safety course.
- When you are hunting, you will need proof of your course certification or deferral on you.
- The earliest age you can obtain a certificate is 9 years old.
- You must be at least 17 years old to complete your hunter safety course online.
- Costs of the course from online providers vary but tend to be not much more than the amount above.
- If you were born September 2nd, 1971 or later or are less than nine years of age you will need to be accompanied by someone who already has a license to hunt in Texas; even if they are not a Texas resident.
- If you are between nine and sixteen years old, then you must complete a hunter education course or have someone with you. If you are over 17 years old, you can purchase a deferral, which cost ten dollars, and allows you to defer completion of your hunter education for up to a year.
Keep in mind that each state will have its own set of guidelines, rules, and requirements, so double check with your state’s agency directly from their websites before getting started with a course.
We’ve included some links to courses below with consideration to cost and popularity, but first, let’s take a look at what to look for when selecting your online hunter safety course option.
Search Criteria for Finding the Best Online Hunter Safety Course
The reason that it is essential to establish search criteria for a course is that you want to make sure that the course has approval in your state, isn’t overly expensive, and will leave you with a lasting education.
The ultimate goal is to become a better and safer hunter, so make sure to look carefully at the course content, and it would also be a good idea to check out some customer reviews to get a better idea of what people are saying about the course.
In general, the more engaging and richer the content is, the faster the course will go, and you will also be more likely to remember the things that you learned. Think about a course you’ve taken in high school or maybe in college that you just couldn’t get enough of. That’s what we’re going for here!
State Approval for Hunting Courses
The United States Fish & Wildlife Services provides information on state-specific hunting license requirements and licensing restrictions which makes it a great place to start.
The Hunter-ed website also conveniently lists states towards the bottom of their homepage where you can get certified in your state quickly, but there are certainly more options than just this one course. It is always a good idea to shop around!
Pricing for an Online Hunter Safety Course
The costs will vary by state, as well as by online provider. Classroom courses tend to be the most cost-effective option. However, online courses are not always more expensive and may be more convenient depending on your situation.
Real Course Reviews from Real Hunters
A great place to check out customer reviews is Trustpilot which provides some additional information when compared to other review sites.
There are several other places to check out customer reviews, such as Google Maps, Yelp, etc. We highly recommend reading reviews from several sources before signing up for any course.
The reason we like Trustpilot is that you can instantly see the statistics for reviews and read comments from actual students of their courses like this page for Hunter-Ed reviews.
It would be a great idea to go through and see what other hunters are saying about each course provider!
Quality Hunter Education
The best course will be the one that a. doesn’t break the bank and b. leaves you with the best possible education. A good way to determine which of these will fit the bill is to do a simple cost vs. quality analysis. You don’t want to end up overpaying for anything, so find something that is affordable first.
After that, see if they have a sample course available (some offer a free preview). Is the course content engaging? Do you like the method and presentation of materials? Then you’ve found the one!
List of Online Hunter Safety Course Providers
Below is a list of some places that you can find courses. It is not meant to be a comprehensive list by any means, but our hope is that it will act as a starting point for your discovery and exploration of online hunter safety course options. As always, make sure to do your own research as well, and follow our suggested guidelines above to make the best selection. This list is also not in any particular order or ranking.
- Hunter Ed Course – This course is accepted in over a dozen states and offers a course specifically for hunter education instructors as well, which aims to help them become a better instructor by creating a more exciting environment for the students. Starting around $13, this course is one of the most cost-effective options out there. The customer reviews are above average, and it has an easy-to-understand step by step approach.
- HunterCourse.com – Approved in over 21 states, this is a great option. The course fee tends to be in the $30 range, which is a little on the high side compared to our first option, but the content is guaranteed to be solid in that many customers felt very positively about it. Sometimes the best place to eat is the place with the long lines, right?
- Hunter Ed – This is a solid option considering that it is approved in nearly every state, and even other countries, such as Canada. They have a unique feature, which is very helpful, in that they offer a ‘pay only when you pass’ guarantee. This is a great option because one of the last things that you want to run into is to buy a course, take it, fail it, and be out the money that you paid to sign up in the first place!
- NRA Hunter Education – Who doesn’t like free? This course is actually one hundred percent free but it is only available in the following states currently: Connecticut, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and West Virginia. This course is quite comprehensive and is obviously the most effective option for cost; free! Thanks to the National Rifle Association, this course exists and is available to anyone to hunt in the states listed above.
- BeASafeHunter – For a simple, no-hassle option, check out this course. It is very easy to sign up for and contains a very useful glossary as a resource and study guide for being a safer hunter.
These courses represent some of the online options available but not everything. Each state agency’s website provides additional information and options available in your location. Keep the search criteria in mind, and don’t forget that the most important thing to check before signing up for a course is whether or not it is on the approved list by your state.
Time to Choose an Online Hunter Safety Course
It is our hope that you are taking away from this reading not only a stronger knowledge of what is required for obtaining your online hunter safety course license, but also that you are feeling more excited about getting out there and hunting safely!
We discussed what an online hunter safety course is, who might need to take one, some basic criteria that you will want to use in your search, as well as a list of courses that are available online.
When it comes to hunting, safety should always be first, and we hope that whatever avenue you decide to pursue to obtain your license leads you down a path of true joy and not only the safety of yourself but others as well. Good luck on obtaining or renewing your license!