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Idaho Fish and Game


Instructor-led hunter education courses are back; you can now sign up for classes


After suspending in-person classes in spring 2020 due to COVID and moving to online-only, Fish and Game recently began gradually reopening in-person courses and they are now back in full swing, and in time for new hunters to complete them before the fall seasons.

Instructor-led hunter education courses provide new hunters with a hands-on learning experience, and can be particularly beneficial for people who have minimal experience in the field and handling firearms.


“While the self-paced online courses provide convenience, we are thrilled that we’ve been able to ramp our instructor-led courses back up, and excited to get students back into the classroom to learn from our experienced Hunter Education instructors.” said Brenda Beckley, Hunter and Angler Recruitment and Retention Manager.

Because COVID concerns remain, and the safety of students, instructors and staff is a priority, Fish and Game officials are following CDC guidelines in instructor-led classes. Classrooms will be arranged for physical distancing and tables/chairs/equipment will be sanitized regularly.

Why sign up for an in-person course?

Learn from experienced hunters/instructors: Maybe you have a question about something that wasn’t directly covered in the coursework, or maybe you just want a little more explanation. With instructor-led courses, you have the opportunity to dive a little deeper than what you find in the Hunter Education book. Instructors provide person-to-person interaction that you won’t find through an online course.

It’s hands-on: In-person instruction provides a hands-on component to hunter education that simply isn’t available in the online format. So, what exactly do we mean by “hands-on?” While both the online and in-person courses cover the same information, in-person students have the benefit of putting the concepts they learn into practice under the guidance of Hunter Education instructors who can explain and demonstrate.

For example, in every instructor-led course, students have the opportunity to practice safe firearm handling with inert firearms in the classroom, and receive specific training based on scenarios that most often lead to hunting-related accidents.

“Although firearm-related hunting accidents are rare in general, the vast majority of them happen in a few specific situations,” said Beckley. “Based on that knowledge, instructors put an emphasis on teaching students how to navigate through obstacles in the field with a firearm, and storing and removing a firearm safely in a vehicle. They also cover ’shoot-don’t-shoot’ scenarios, and then students physically demonstrate what they’ve been taught.”

While a field day is not currently required for certification, students in instructor-led courses also have the option of receiving live-fire instruction in many  courses currently being offered throughout the state.

It’s affordable: The cost for enrolling in instructor-led courses is less than a box of shotgun shells (even at pre-COVID prices): just $9.75.

To see a list of instructor-led courses scheduled go to