The purpose of Arizona's Hunter Education Program is to promote safe, knowledgeable and responsible hunter conduct, to emphasize the importance of wildlife management, laws and regulations, and to encourage the safe handling of firearms and bowhunting equipment.
Youth Big Game hunters need a Hunter Education card to hunt. They do not need a Hunter Education card to apply for the draw, only a hunting license. Youth hunters can purchase a hunting license without having attended Hunter Education.
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Any individual nine years of age or older may complete a hunter education course offered through the Department. To hunt big game youth under the age of 14 must complete hunter education. While you must be 10 years of age to hunt big game you may complete Hunter Education at the age of 9 however, the hunter education completion card and certificate does not become valid until the child’s 10th birthday.
The Arizona hunter education program is not just for children or hunters. This educational program is a valuable experience for anyone who enjoys the outdoors and has an interest in conservation. Parents are encouraged to participate in the course with their child. For veteran hunters, the course serves as an excellent refresher.
You may take Hunter Education in Arizona two different formats; through a classroom setting or an on-line curriculum. Both courses require a hands-on field day and exam.
Classroom courses are generally offered during weekends and week nights across the state. Field days are conducted at a local shooting range, if available. Your classroom class may be as short as a single weekend, or may span several weeks depending on the instructor.
At a minimum your Hunter Education Course will include the following topics:
- Responsibility, safety skills.
- Funding sources.
- Conservation, fair chase, fair share, hunters’ ethics and hunters’ image.
- Planning and preparation, maps and compasses, survival skills, coping with extreme weather and basic first aid.
- Firearm safety, nomenclature, function, handling and shot-selection.
- Basic muzzleloading, bowhunting, handguns, use of boats in hunting and use of off-highway vehicles.
- Wildlife conservation, management and identification.
- Marksmanship, rifle and shotgun shooting, hunting strategies, vital shots and care of game.
- Arizona hunting laws and regulations and licensing.
To get a Department ID number please call 602-942-3000.
All classroom hunter education courses are taught by certified Arizona Game and Fish Department Volunteer Instructors. The instructors determine when and where the classes will be held.
Be sure to bring your consent and waiver form and all materials sent to you by your instructor to the first night of class.
The online Hunter Education course is divided into two parts.
- Part one is a self-paced program that is completed on the internet. The student will review the information completing online quizzes between each chapter. At the completion of all the chapters, a practice test can be taken or the student may take the actual test. Once a passing score of 80% is obtained, a completion certificate may be printed and a field day scheduled.
Part two of the on-line course is a minimum of a four (4) hour field day component and final exam.
- Student has 90 days once they have completed the online course to complete their field day.
Bonus Point Field Test
The Bonus Point Field Test is designed for students ages 18 and older, that have successfully completed the Arizona Hunter Education Online Course, and have a minimum of three years hunting experience. There are no exceptions to the age requirement for participation. Pre-registration is required for you to select your one-hour time slot.
Students will be rotating through practical application stations at your pace. The stations are: Live-fire, Matching, and a Practical Hunt. After you complete the stations you will be required to take a written exam. You are required to score a minimum of 80% overall in order to successfully graduate to retake the online course and field test.
A volunteer is a person who, of his or her own free will, provides goods or services (time and experience) without the expectation of financial gain. Each volunteer is unique and there are many reasons for why people volunteer their services: personal fulfillment, a desire to help others learn something new, to increase your own knowledge, to promote a cause, just to name a few. The benefits gained from volunteering as a Hunter Education Instructor are unique and personal to you.
As a Volunteer Hunter Education Instructor (Volunteer Instructor), you can volunteer for a very important role in our program. The public will look to you to demonstrate what it means to be a responsible and ethical hunter. You will be responsible for imparting the knowledge needed to help other hunters increase their hunting knowledge, improve skills and safety, and become informed custodians of Arizona wildlife resources. This is not a duty to be taken lightly.
One of the reasons that the Arizona Hunter Education Program is successful is due to the commitment and devotion of you, the Volunteer Instructor, who supports it. We recognize that each Volunteer Instructor provides invaluable skills and expertise. They enable the AZGFD to provide the community with a wonderful opportunity and quality service. You can be crucial to the success and continuation of the Arizona Hunter Education Program and we thank you for considering joining our ranks.
You can download the New Instructor Certification Requirements checklist to track your progress. There are five steps to becoming a Volunteer Instructor.
Applicants for the position of Volunteer Instructor must be 18 years of age or older and must have completed the Hunter Education Student Course. (Step 1)
All forms, along with documentation showing graduation from a Hunter Education course, must be submitted to the Hunter Education Staff at AZGFD, Attn: Hunter Education, 5000 West Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086.
After Student Course graduation, applicants must complete a Hunter Education Instructor Application Form and a Volunteer Instructor Registration Form. Forms are available at www.azgfd.gov or from the Hunter Education Staff. (Step 2)
The Hunter Education staff will contact you for an interview to be conducted in person or by phone prior to your being accepted into the Hunter Education New Instructor Training. (Step 3)
If approved, all applicants must attend and successfully complete all sections of the New Instructor Training Course(s) conducted by the Hunter Education staff and pass a written exam. (Step 4) This training program consists of:
- Policy and Procedure
- Training Workshop
Range Safety Officer Training
All Volunteer Instructors must submit to a DPS Level 1background check and qualify for a Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card as a condition of becoming a Volunteer Instructor.
Upon issuance of the DPS Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card, applicant will be certified as a Provisional Instructor and will be provided with:
- Provisional Instructor I.D. Card that will be valid for one year
Provisional Volunteer Instructors are required to successfully complete the team teaching component (Step 5) within one year from completion date of the New Instructor Training to become a Volunteer Instructor. Step 5 requirements include but are not limited to:
- Team teaching Hunter Education Courses
Team teaching Hunter Education Field Days
- In order to maintain status as a Volunteer Instructor, persons must complete the minimum required continuing education credits per year.
2015 Scheduled New Instructor Training Dates
Classes are from 8am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday with a practical application Field Day on the second afternoon.
Feb 28 and Mar 1, Safford
March 14 and 15, AZGFD Mesa
April 25 and 26, AZGFD Phoenix
May 1 and 2, Fredonia
June 13 and 14, AZGFD Pinetop
All hunter education courses are taught by certified Arizona Game and Fish Department Volunteer Instructors. The instructors determine when and where the classes will be held. For more information, call the Education Branch at 623 236-7235, 623 236-7219 or 623 236-7220.