Hunter education courses filling up as fall hunting gets closer

Olympia, WA – The Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife is reminding residents that it there’s still time to sign up for hunter education before fall seasons begin.

In a release, WDFW says that while hunter education classes are available at sites across the state now, approximately ⅓ of these classes are already full.

Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1972 must show proof of completion of hunter education before buying their first Washington hunting license.

“Summer is a great time to enroll in hunter education class because as fall hunting seasons draw near, seats in these courses fill quickly,” said David Whipple, WDFW hunter education division manager. “Beat the fall rush and sign up today, especially before school and related activities begin.”

WDFW says that both traditional and online options are available to complete the hunter education requirement, with in-person classes including direct person-to-person instruction from certified volunteer instructors. 

“This format is especially beneficial to younger students, as well as those seeking more time with our highly qualified and passionate instructors.”

The online course offers the same content, but on the student’s schedule. Those who take the online course are still required to complete an in-person field skills evaluation led by certified instructors. 

WDFW says that as hunting seasons approach, field skills evaluation classes can fill very quickly.

To learn about hunter education requirements or find a course, new hunters should visit the WDFW hunter education webpage at

Washington honors all 50 states hunter education certifications. Those who are unable to complete a hunter education course before the fall hunting seasons may qualify for a hunter education deferral. For more information on the deferral, visit

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.