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In Person TWRA Hunter Education Courses

Online Courses

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.

Course Content

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, black powder 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, and 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 children. Parents who participate and who pass the test will receive a hunter education course.

Volunteer Hunter Education Instructors

Dedicated Tennessee Volunteer Hunter Education Instructors ensure 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 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 is 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.