WDFW to Discontinue Online-Only Hunter Education 


Starting June 1, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will no longer offer fully remote hunter education courses. The department will continue to offer in-person hunter education courses as well as hybrid courses that combine online and in-person learning.

“Online learning was a great tool we had available to continue providing hunter education courses as we navigated impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dave Whipple, WDFW Hunter Education section manager. “We are excited to shift our emphasis back to offering more in-person learning opportunities for hunters.”

The traditional classroom course, which is typically taught over multiple evenings and includes a field portion, is highly recommended for students seeking a valuable classroom experience. The hybrid course combines successful completion of an online course followed by a field skills evaluation where students receive hands-on training and evaluation by certified instructors.

“There is so much to be gained by learning hands-on with our volunteer educators, whether in the field or in the classroom. Some students from previous remote courses have opted to take the hands-on field course as well, recognizing how the in-person opportunity enhanced their learning,” Whipple said.

Per Washington state law, all hunters born after Jan. 1, 1972, must complete a hunter education course in order to buy a hunting license. A hunter education deferral is available for hunters 10 years of age and older who want to try hunting with an eligible licensed hunter before completing a hunter education course themselves.

Students who started but have not completed a fully online hunter education course by June 1 will be able to finish their course and become certified.

To learn about hunter education requirements and find an upcoming course near you, visit the WDFW hunter education website.