If you are a hunter between the ages of 9 and 50, you may need to complete a hunter education course before going out on your first, or next, hunt. Besides the fact that proof of certification or deferral is a requirement while on the hunt, the course provides valuable information and training that could keep hunters from inadvertently breaking a law, or even save a life.
Please read the following information from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department regarding hunter education courses and certification.
Who Must Complete Hunter Education?
Every hunter (including out-of-state hunters) born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, must successfully complete a Hunter Education Course. Although certification is not required to purchase a hunting license, proof of certification or deferral, either printed or electronically, is required to be on your person while hunting.
The minimum age of certification is 9 years. Persons 17 years of age and older have the option of taking the course in person or online. Inperson course cost is $15, but online course costs vary. The current hunter education certification will be valid Sept. 1, 2021, through Aug. 31, 2022.
Hunters under 9 years old must be accompanied. Hunters aged 9-16 must successfully complete a hunter education course or be accompanied. Hunters aged 17 and over must successfully complete a hunter education course or must purchase a “Hunter Education Deferral” and be accompanied. “Accompanied” means by a person (resident or nonresident) who is at least 17, who is licensed to hunt in Texas, who has passed hunter education or is exempt (born before Sept. 2, 1971), and you must be within normal voice control.
Proof of Certification or Deferral
Proof of certification or deferral is required to be on your person while hunting, although certification is not required to purchase a hunting license. Hunter Education Deferral allows a person 17 years of age or older who has not completed a hunter education program to defer completion for up to one year.
A deferral may only be obtained once and is only valid until the end of the current license year. Certification is good for life and Texas certification is honored by other states and provinces requiring hunter education.
A person who has been convicted or has received deferred adjudication for violation of the mandatory hunter education requirement is prohibited from applying for a deferral.
Military & Law Enforcement Hunter Education Exemptions
The following persons are exempt from requirements to complete a hunter education course to hunt in Texas:
• Active duty members and honorably discharged veterans of the United States armed forces;
• Active duty members or those who have previously served as members of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard or the Texas State Guard; or
• Persons who are serving or have previously served as a peace officer as described by Subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4), Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure.
For course information, please contact TPWD at 512-389-4999, toll-free at 800-792-1112 (menu 6) or online at www.tpwd.texas. gov/education and click on Hunter Education.