Tennessee Hunter Education Information
- Legal Requirements for Hunting in Tennessee
- Traditional Hunter Education Course
- Online Hunter Education Course
- Bowhunter Education Courses
- Trapper Education Courses
- TWRA Apprentice Hunting License (Type 012)
- Need a Duplicate Card?
- Volunteer Hunter Education Instructors
- Still have questions? Check out our FAQ
Tennessee’s Hunter Education program works. Since 1975, when a formal hunter education program was introduced, the number of hunting and firearm related accidents in Tennessee has declined dramatically. We know that Tennessee’s Hunter Education program has reduced hunting accidents and saved lives.
Tennessee Code Annotated 70-2-108 became law in 1985 and states:
(a) Every person born on or after January 1, 1969, before hunting, shall possess, in addition to all other licenses and permits required, proof of satisfactory completion of an agency approved hunter education course.
Those under 10 years of age do not need a Hunter Education certificate, but must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years of age, who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device. Many states require hunter education certification regardless of age. Parents that do not wish to become certified, typically find the class is both informative and enjoyable.
The basic Hunter Education Course provides firearms safety training and introduces students to their responsibilities in the fields of hunter ethics and wildlife management.
The main objective of the Hunter Education Program is to reduce the potential for hunting accidents and ultimately reduce the number of hunting injuries. The course is taught according to standards established by the International Hunter Education Association. By meeting these standards the Tennessee Hunter Education program is recognized by all states, Canada, and Mexico.
The basic course is free of charge and consists of a classroom & a field day.
- A minimum of ten (10) hours of classroom participation. Most classes generally last 12-16 hours.
- Students must successfully pass a written test consisting of 100 multiple choice questions.
- Students must attend all classes.
- Students need to bring their Social Security Number and a #2 pencil to the class.
- In addition to the test, students must demonstrate how to handle a firearm safely and must participate in a live fire session in order to become certified. Traditional Field days typically last four hours.
The basic Hunter Education course will consist of topics to include: hunter ethics, hunter responsibility toward wildlife, the environment, landowners and the general public, archery and the history of modern day bowhunting, tree stand safety, history of firearms, blackpowder and muzzleloading firearms, knowledge of modern firearms and ammunition, proper gun handling and storage, marksmanship fundamentals, hunt preparation: specific laws and various equipment, principles of wildlife management and wildlife identification, survival, hypothermia, first aid.
The course is offered free of charge (excluding the online course) to anyone interested regardless of age; however, you must be nine years of age or older in order to become a certified hunter education graduate. Parents are encouraged to go through the course with their child. Parents who participate and who pass the test will receive hunter education course.
Online Course Option
In addition to the traditional twelve hour hunter education course the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has developed an online course and field day to better accommodate people's busy schedules. This option allows students to complete the majority of the classroom work at home on their computer.
Other Hunter Education Courses Offered
In an effort to introduce new hunters to the sport, we have developed a new type of hunting license designed especially for people who may wish to sample the pleasures of Tennessee’s many hunting opportunities.
The Agency’s Apprentice License will provide an exemption from Tennessee’s Hunter Education requirements for anyone ten years of age or older for a period of one year from the date of purchase. This license may be purchased up to three years consecutively.
Potential hunters (born on or after January 1, 1969) who have not completed the state’s usually mandatory Hunter Education course may purchase the type 012 permit for $12. This license allows the holder to hunt in Tennessee for one year from the date of purchase without having to complete the Hunter Education course. The hunter must also possess all appropriate licenses and permits required of Hunter Education certified hunters.
Hunters purchasing the Apprentice License must be accompanied by a person 21 years of age or older who is a Hunter Education graduate or is exempt from the Hunter Education requirements (born prior to 1969). This person must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device.
The Apprentice License is valid only in Tennessee and will not exempt people hunting outside Tennessee from that state’s Hunter Education requirements.
To replace a Hunter Education Card, first contact your TWRA Regional Office during normal business hours. Verify that your Hunter Education number has been updated in the TWRA license system. Then you may go to a TWRA license agent and purchase a Type 500 (Hunter Education Card Replacement), for $7.00. You may also purchase a replacement card online at the Online License Center.
Dedicated Tennessee Volunteer Hunter Education Instructors insure the continuation of the hunting tradition by passing on their passion for the sport. Volunteer Hunter Education Instructors are committed and enthusiastic outdoorsmen and women who want to pass on the traditions, ethics and excitement of outdoor activities to beginners of all ages. We are always looking for experienced hunters to share their knowledge and passion for the sport with others. Becoming a volunteer Hunter Education Instructor can be your way to give a little back.
Why are Volunteers important?
Each year approximately 18,000 Tennessee citizens become a certified Hunter Education Graduate. Annually, Tennessee’s 1,200 Volunteer Hunter Education Instructors passionately teach around 500 courses all over the state.
Volunteers are vital to the success of the Hunter Education program for many reasons. The first reason being that there are simply not enough wildlife officers to conduct the amount of training required in every community throughout the state. Another reason is volunteer instructors provide skill and expertise which may not be available within the wildlife agency. Volunteer instructors are also important because they are so well established in their local communities; they usually have extensive local contacts and are aware of community needs and can facilitate setting up classes.
What Courses Do Volunteer Instructors Teach?
The core of the Hunter Education Program is the Basic Hunter Education Course, which is a minimum of 11 hours in length. Successful graduates of this course are issued a certificate of completion. This certificate is necessary for anyone born after January 1, 1969 who is purchasing a hunting license in Tennessee. Advanced Hunter Education Courses taught by instructors include Bow Hunter Education and Trapper Education.
These courses range from 8 – 12 hours in length.
What Is Expected of a Volunteer Instructor?
In order to remain a certified Volunteer Instructor, you must teach at least 1 course every 24 months. Tennessee Volunteer Hunter Education Instructors may take pride in the fact that they have helped make a safe sport even safer and have helped develop hunters who act safely and responsibly.
How Can I Become a Volunteer Instructor?
The Hunter Education Program is looking for people who want to “give back” to their favorite outdoor activity. If you have had previous volunteer experience working with youths and/or adults, are an educator or someone who wants to be a teacher to others, we want you! Before filling out an application form, all prospective instructors must successfully complete a Basic Hunter Education Course.
If you'd like more information about becoming a Tennessee Volunteer Hunter Education Instructor please contact your local TWRA Wildlife Officer or TWRA Regional Office.
Can I take the CD class or online class and shoot at a traditional Hunter Education class?
No, people taking the CD/Online course must participate in the CD/Online Field day. They will shoot and take the test at the Field Day. Field days are designed to compliment the CD/Online course and provide additional information that students do not get from the CD/Online course alone.
How much does it cost to take a Hunter Education class?
Nothing, in Tennessee the course is free.
Will other states accept Tennessee’s Hunter Education certification?
Yes, Hunter Education certification from Tennessee is accepted in all 50 states.
Do I need to bring a gun to the Hunter Education class?
No, everything will be provided by the instructor. Outside firearms and ammunition are strictly forbidden and will not be allowed inside the classroom.