Everyone who hunts in Texas and is born on or after September 2, 1971, must complete hunter education. The minimum age to complete the certification course is 9 years old. If you were born on or after the previously mentioned date and are between ages 9 through 16, you must successfully complete hunter education, OR be accompanied as described below. Hunters age 17 and over must complete hunter education or purchase a deferral and must be accompanied. Hunters under 9 years old must be accompanied as defined below.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Website "accompanied means: By a person 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 is required to be on your person while hunting. Note: Proof of certification is not required to purchase a hunting license."
The hunter education certification is valid for the rest of your life once you pass the course and receive your certificate. The minimum age to complete hunter education and receive your certification is 9 years old. TheTexas certification is also accepted in other states that require hunter education but it’s important to check first. Texas law requires that hunters carry proof of hunters education or their purchased deferral while in the field.
The following are the three age based options for hunters to acquire their hunter education certification in Texas.
The first option is a classroom course which applies only to hunters under 17 year old. Preparing for the class is unnecessary because you will be taught everything you need to know. These course cost $15 and should be paid to the instructor at the classroom. This in person class room based hunter education course include 6 hours of instruction in firearm and hunting safety, best hunting practices, and a final exam. The exact length of the course and cost may vary if additional topics are covered or range fees are required.
For hunters under 17 years old, the other option is to sign up for a field course. To prepare for the field course, hunters should complete on of the two free courses available online. The field course costs $15 paid to the instructor who will be conducting the class. The course consists of a minimum of four hours of field instruction which includes: firearms handling and shooting, discussion of hunter ethics, hunter skills, and a final exam.
Hunters over the age of 17 can do hunter education online course by registering with any of the accepted programs. The price and duration of these courses can vary but they typically cost around $35. Once the course is completed and paid for a temporary certification will be issued which will be replaced by a permanent card in 90 days or less.
Hunters age 17 and older can purchase a deferral of their hunter education requirement for $10 wherever licenses are sold. This deferral allows hunters delay the completion of a hunter education course by up to a year.This however, comes with some caveats. Hunters who have purchased a deferral must be accompanied by a someone who has completed hunter education, or is exempt from the requirement (born before September 2, 1971). A Deferral of hunter education can only be purchased once.
The basic hunter education course typically takes 6 hours to complete including instruction, skill exercises, review and final exam.
Anyone 17 or older who has not completed hunter education can defer completion for one year. A deferral can only be purchased once and is only valid for the duration of the current license year. Hunters with a deferral must be accompanied while in the field. The hunter education deferral is available from license vendors for $10.
Updated on December 6, 2022
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