Since Hunter Education became mandatory for 12–15 year old and first-time hunters in 1988, there has been a 25% reduction in the rate of hunting-related shooting incidents. While hunting is safe in comparison to other common sports, each injury can cause extreme physical and emotional pain for the victim, the shooter, and their families. Hunter Education courses are designed to teach hunting safety, principles of conservation, and sportsmanship. A dedicated cadre of over 500 trained volunteer instructors works with 170 Conservation Police Officers to train over 2500 students each year, in addition to 7500 students who choose the online course.
NOTICE: Effective January 1, 2021, online courses are no longer accepted for concealed handgun permit applications.
Bowhunters may access the online bowhunting course at Bowhunter-Ed.com/Virginia or search for in-person Bowhunter Education courses near you.
Hunter Education Volunteer Instructors
Hunter Education volunteers are committed to training the next generation to be safe, knowledgeable and ethical participants in an enduring Virginia tradition. Many have had enjoyable hunting experiences and now say that they want to “give something back.” If this describes you, please get in touch with us. It can be a very rewarding experience. There is a need for instructors, class organizers, and help with transporting materials. Since working with children and firearms is part of the program, all applicants must submit to a criminal background check.
Replacement cards for classroom courses and internet courses can be ordered by clicking this link (note, this will take you to www.ilostmycard.com, who is managing hunting safety certificates for the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources). The cost for a replacement card is $10.
Learn to Shoot
Want to Get Started in Archery or Bowhunting?
Virginia Bowhunters Association (VBA) clubs from around the state have offered to assist new archers and/or bowhunters with the fundamentals. There is a designated member at each club that will help get you in touch with talented folks in your desired area. Each club can help with advice for learning how to shoot, improving your shooting by competing in indoor and/or 3-D tournaments for all skill levels, and establishing or improving your hunting skills. In addition to getting some basic help, joining a VBA club can offer even more opportunities to meet and shoot with other archery/bowhunting enthusiasts and improve your skills! Please contact the nearest club from this list.