Hunter education is the key to safe and productive experiences in the field

Learn more about Michigan’s hunter’s education requirements as well the variety of options available to Michigan residents to meet it.

It is that great time of the year when people are out enjoying one of this nation’s favorite pass times: hunting. How does one prepare for that great adventure in the great outdoors? Education is the answer. If a person was born after January 1, 1960, a hunter safety course is required to purchase any Michigan hunting license. If you are planning to hunt out of state, other states also require the completion of a hunter education course.

Hunter education courses have a minimum of 10 hours of classroom and field work. The 10-hour requirement can be accomplished in a weekend or spread out over a period of time. Hunter education courses are available at a variety of locations statewide. The curriculum covers firearm safety, archery safety, hunting ethics, conservation, wildlife management, survival and hunting regulations. At the completion of the courses students required to take a written exam. The course may have a cost attached to it, but cannot exceed $10.00.

Home-study hunter education is an option to the traditional classroom style of hunter education. Individuals who elect to do home study must register for a field day class before taking the home-study course. Home-study courses may not be available in all areas. Search for a home study course and instructor on the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website. The required field day education component may also have a cost, but cannot exceed $10.00.

The Michigan DNR also offers an online hunter education course option. Upon completing the online course, a student is required to attend a field day class and take the written examination. There are also fees associated with online hunter education. Field day costs are to cover the cost for materials and supplies incurred by the instructor. To obtain additional information regarding this option, see Michigan Hunter’s Ed Course website or the HunterCourse.com website.   

Another great way to get youth under the age of 9 introduced to the great sport of hunting and out into the great outdoors is the Mentored Youth Hunting Program. This Michigan DNR program allows youth hunters to hunt with a mentor who is at least 21 years of age, has hunting experience and possesses a valid Michigan. For additional information regarding the program and for complete rules and restrictions, visit the webpage.

Michigan also has Apprentice Hunting License. As explained by the Michigan DNR, “A person who does not have a hunter safety certificate and is 10 years of age or older may purchase an apprentice hunting license. An apprentice hunter may purchase this license for two licenses years before he or she must successfully complete a hunter safety course.” Additional information is included in the 2012 Michigan Hunting and Trapping Digest.