Baton Rouge, LA — As hunters begin to prepare for the 2014-15 hunting season, one thing they should not overlook is hunter education. In the rush to prepare for the hunting season, hunters sometimes overlook the hunter education requirements and find themselves struggling to schedule a class at the last minute.
Hunters who have not completed hunter education should review the requirements for Louisiana and any other states where they plan to hunt. Now is the time to register for a class and avoid the last minute rush.
Louisiana law requires that hunters born on or after Sept. 1, 1969, obtain Hunter Education Certification prior to hunting in Louisiana, unless they are under direct supervision of a qualified person. A qualified person is someone who is a licensed hunter and was born before Sept. 1, 1969, or a person who is 18 years of age or older and has proof of Hunter Education Certification. Direct supervision means the supervising person is in direct line of sight and within normal voice contact of the hunter they are supervising.
The minimum age for Hunter Education Certification in Louisiana is 10 years old. However, it is a requirement that 10 and 11-year-olds must be supervised while hunting, even if they have received Hunter Education Certification.
States have differing hunter education requirements, so hunters planning trips to other states should check the hunter education requirements of their destination state well in advance of their trip. For instance, hunters traveling to Colorado must have hunter education certification if they were born on or after Jan. 1, 1949. The Louisiana Hunter Education Certification is honored in all states and Canadian provinces.
The Louisiana Hunter Education Certification course is offered in two formats. The first is a 10-hour classroom format that is usually held over 2-3 days. The second format, recommended only for students 14 years of age and older, is a home-study format that consists of two parts: an online class that can be taken at the student’s own pace, followed by a 5-hour field day class. Both formats, classroom and home-study, cover firearm and hunting safety, wildlife management principals, ethics, game identification and outdoor survival. Students must successfully complete a live-fire exercise with either format.
There is no fee for the hunter education classroom format. However, there is a $15 fee to take the online class portion of the home-study format and the fee is paid when the student successfully completes the online class.
Students choosing the home-study format must successfully complete the online class before attending a field day class and successfully complete both parts in order to receive their Hunter Education Certification. There is a common misconception that the field day class only involves the live-fire exercise. However, that is only part of the class which also includes hands-on instruction and review of the online material.
Hunters who have already received Hunter Education Certification should check to be sure they still have their certification card and should carry it with their hunting license while they are hunting. Hunter Education Certification does not expire and is good for a hunter’s lifetime. Duplicate cards can be requested through the department’s website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/hunter-education and the hunter will need to enter their name exactly as it appears on their card, their date of birth, and the zip code that appeared on their last card. Duplicate cards can also be requested by calling 225-765-2932.
To register for a Hunter Education Certification course, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/hunter-education . From the website, hunters will be able to register for a classroom course, access the online class and register for a field day class.