The annual Hunter Education program conducted by the Mississippi Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Parks is underway with courses available online and throughout the state.
Hunter Education classes are 10 hours long which include classroom instruction and time on a firing range. There is no charge for the course.
The program is designed to help reduce hunting accidents and enrich a person’s knowledge of the outdoors by teaching hunting ethics and responsibility, wildlife conservation, and firearm safety fundamentals.
Students must be 10 years old prior to Dec. 31 of the year of the class. They must attend all course hours, score 70 percent or above on an examination, and show safety proficiency with a firearm prior to certification.
Hunter Education courses are also offered online. The online course is not intended to replace the traditional classroom course but is designed to work within the established course curriculum and allow the Hunter Education certification to be obtained throughout the year. Upon completion of the online exam, students must complete the final three hours within a classroom setting. This allows the student time for interaction with the instructor, final testing, and the range firing exercise.
Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1972, is required to complete a Hunter Education course before purchasing a Mississippi hunting license. Anyone 12 years of age and less than 16 years of age must have a certificate of satisfactory completion of a hunter education course approved by the MDWFP before hunting alone in Mississippi. A child at least 12 years of age and less than 16 years of age may hunt without having the certificate of Hunter Education if the child is in the presence and under the direct supervision of a Mississippi licensed or exempt hunter at least 21 years of age when hunting. Sportsmen and women can also take Hunter Education voluntarily to enhance their knowledge and skills.
Volunteer instructors, county 4-H Youth Agents, school teachers and wildlife agency personnel teach Hunter Education. They are qualified by attending a certification course. Instructors maintain their teaching credential through a yearly evaluation process.
Call 1-800-354-5033 or visit mdwfp.com/law-enforcement/hunter-education for more information regarding Hunter Education courses or about becoming a volunteer Hunter Education instructor.