WDFW to discontinue online-only hunter education courses after May 31

Starting June 1, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will no longer be offering 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,” added Whipple.

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, please visit the WDFW hunter education website.