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Tennessee Bow Hunter Education

Tennessee Hunter Education Course During Covid-19

Hunter Education can now be completed online or in person.

There is no longer a field day requirement for those who take hunter education online.

Visit to take the exam and get hunter ed certified.

If you have taken the online course after September 1, 2019, and then could not find a field day to attend, you may log in to the course, print out a certificate and you will be considered Hunter Education Certified.

Volunteer hunter education instructors are teaching classes across the state with student numbers being restricted based on classroom size, not to exceed 25 students. Find a class near you.

What to expect when you arrive at a Traditional Hunter Education Class

Only enrolled students may enter the classroom.  Parents and guardians must wait outside.

Students must bring a cloth face covering with them and wear it at all times while in the classroom.  Students must bring all the required supplies to class (pencil, paper, face mask, and hand sanitizer). 

Students will be screened prior to each class.  The screening will consist of a forehead scan with a no-touch thermometer to ensure no student is exhibiting a fever.

Students will maintain social distancing guidelines at all times (specifically, staying 6 feet away from others when in a shared space).  Students will be spaced out to maintain a minimum of six feet between students.

Students will be encouraged to wash their hands frequently.

The live-fire portion of the hunter education course has been suspended until the Covid-19 threat is over.

Please notify your instructor if begin exhibiting a fever or become ill with COVID-19 during the course.  The course will be suspended for at least 14 days.

If you are unable to take an online class or find a traditional class near you, then we encourage you to purchase the Apprentice License. This license is available to all hunters 10 years of age or older who have not completed the mandatory hunter education course. It exempts the hunter from the mandatory hunter education law for one year from the date of purchase.  For more information click here.

Bow Hunter Education Course Information

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).

TWRA Mandatory Hunter Education Requirements

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 a certified bowhunter education graduate.

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 consists of classroom activities, the next four hours consists 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: BowHunter-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 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 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 bowhunt 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.