Bow Hunter Education

The ultimate goal of bowhunter education is to provide bowhunters with the basic fundamentals of good, safe bowhunting while maintaining the highest ethical standards in the sport. The immediate objective is to instill in all bowhunters a responsible attitude and to adopt and follow acceptable behavior towards people, wildlife, and the environment in which they hunt.

The class has approximately 5 hours of interactive classroom study and 3 hours of practical field training.

The course is taught by Tennessee volunteer instructors that are experienced bowhunters and are certified to present the materials outlined in the NBEF course.   Tennessee’s volunteer instructors commit valuable time and expertise to ensure the success of the Bowhunter Education program.   Be sure to thank your volunteer instructor(s). 

Bowhunter Education Certification

This is a certification course that requires students to achieve a passing score on a written exam to successfully complete the training.

Tennessee offers two ways for students to become certified bowhunter education graduates.

The traditional class is one way to obtain certification as a bowhunter education graduate in Tennessee.   

  • The traditional class typically lasts eight hours, the first four hours of the class consist of classroom activities, the next four hours consist of field activities.   Students must attend all sessions of the class to gain certification.   Students do not have to take the online course prior to taking a traditional class. 


The other option available to students wishing to obtain a bowhunter education certification is by independent study through the online course.   

  • This is a two-part process that requires the student to use a computer and be linked to the World Wide Web.   Students must first complete the online course of study.   Participate in the online course.   Remember to bookmark or in some manner save the address of the Web page to ensure that you can return to the course if you are unable to complete it in one session.  The NBFF bowhunter education course may be completed entirely online here: Bow Hunter-ed  Online Class 
  • After completion of the online course, students must attend an abbreviated four-hour field day to complete the certification process. Students will not be allowed to register for or attend a practical unless they have completed the online portion of the course first.

Course Content

  • Why do you want to be a bowhunter?
  • Ecological constraints (habitat requirements, carrying capacity, management tools, etc.)
  • Sociological considerations (conduct not approved by others, reasons for approval, etc.)
  • Preparing for the hunt (adequate equipment, scouting, planning, shooting form, practice, etc.)
  • Hunting effectively (sharpening broadheads, game anatomy, how an arrow works, etc.)
  • The hunt (hunting methods, game recovery, tracking, care of game, etc.)
  • Hunting safety (hazards, first aid, hypothermia, survival, map and compass, etc.)
  • Field experience (matching equipment, tree stands, judging distance, following trails, etc.)

At the Field Day

  • Students must present to their instructor at the start of the practical (as evidence of completion), a hard copy of the certification of completion from the NBEF web course showing they have completed the course.
  • Students will have to pass with a minimum of 85% a comprehensive written examination on the knowledge obtained from the web course.
  • They must successfully participate in the field day testing under the supervision of a certified instructor to complete the certification process. This normally occurs outside, in simulated hunting conditions and students should dress accordingly. Check with the instructors to see if they want you to bring bowhunting equipment to use during the field day.

A bowhunter education certificate of training is awarded to graduates at the course’s conclusion. Students will need this certificate to bow hunt in other states mandating bowhunter education training.   Bowhunter education is not mandatory in Tennessee.

The bowhunter education course does not replace TWRA’s basic hunter education training.   All first-time hunters born on or after January 1, 1969, must successfully complete a Hunter Education course before hunting in Tennessee.

TWRA Represented at NASP Bownanza, Tipton Career Day

TWRA Represented at NASP Bownanza, Tipton Career Day

TWRA Region I staff represented the Agency at recently-held events for students at a pair of Tipton County Schools.

Wildlife Manager Austin Bibb (pictured) and Wildlife Technician Kenny Lepard were on hand at Tipton Christian Academy. Students from pre-school through high school attended.

TWRA District 11 officers assisted in the NASP Virtual Bracket Bownanza at Covington High School. Helping at the event were Sgt, Ty Inmon, Sgt. Brandon Gavrock, Sgt. Ed Gover, and wildlife officers Jacob Jones and Austin Phillips.