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Who Needs Hunter Ed?
If you were born on or after August 1, 1977, you must complete an approved hunter education program before purchasing a license. Hunter education is offered as early as 10 years of age, but is not required until license buying age of 16. However, it is highly recommended to go ahead and complete the course as early as possible.
Alabama accepts all other states hunter education certifications. Therefore, if you completed your hunter education in another state, you are good to go here.
Exemptions to the Hunter Education Requirement
The Alabama Wildlife Heritage Act of 2007 provides a mentor provision for hunter education. Hunting license buyers have the option to hunt under the "supervision required" status in lieu of passing the hunter education course. However, successful completion of an approved hunter education course is mandatory for all non-supervised hunting license buyers. Hunters under supervision must be under normal voice control, not to exceed 30 feet away from a properly licensed hunter 21 years of age or older. Under no circumstances shall the supervising person be the holder of a "supervision required" license.
Law enforcement officers employed in Alabama and certified by the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission (APOST), active duty U.S. Military personnel, and Alabama residents who are active members of the AL National Guard are also exempt from the hunter education requirement.
Options for Obtaining Hunter Ed Certification
There are two ways to obtain your hunter education class as described below. An in-person class, also called a traditional class, or an all online internet option. Either option fulfills the hunter education requirement needed to purchase your hunting license.
Which Course is Right for Me?
OPTION 1 - Traditional Hunter Education Course (In-person classes) - Free - The traditional course is recommended if you prefer in-person, face-to-face instruction or your household only has dial-up Internet access.
The traditional hunter education course is a minimum 8 hours of instruction plus a written examination. The course is taught by Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries personnel and volunteer instructors to participants 10 years of age and older and is offered free of charge. The course includes but is not limited to firearms safety and handling, responsible hunting and hunter ethics, wildlife laws, wildlife management and identification, archery, muzzleloading, first aid, survival and game care.
If Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations are needed at an in-person traditional hunter education course, please contact Marisa Futral by phone at 334-242-3620 or by email. Requests should be made as soon as possible, but at least 72 hours prior to the scheduled course.
OPTION 2 -Internet Course (This option is for Alabama Residents ONLY) - The online hunter education courses work well with high-speed Internet access. This option is for Alabama residents only and some of the course providers charge a fee.
The online Hunter Safety course covers the knowledge, skills and attitude needed to be a safe hunter. Students should complete ONE of the third-party online hunter safety courses listed below. Allow approximately 8 hours to complete an online hunter safety course.
Click on any one of these approved online hunter education courses to get started. (This option is for Alabama Residents ONLY)
NRAHE.org - Alabama - From the organization that built the first ever hunter education program in 1949, the NRA online hunter education course is designed to help new hunters learn how to be safe and responsible members of the hunting community. (FREE)
Hunter-Ed.com - Alabama - Online textbook-style hunter safety course featuring hundreds of realistic illustrations and animations. Includes the course, unit quizzes and certificate – everything you need to purchase your license and start hunting. ($28.95)
HUNTERcourse.com - Alabama - Fully narrated, illustrated and full of engaging animations and videos. Students will learn the fundamentals of hunting safety and gain the appropriate knowledge to pass the final exam and start hunting. ($29.00)
ilearntohunt - Alabama - Learn and test your hunting knowledge with the only gamified interactive course on the market. A dynamic, video game-type hunter safety course that is built around real-life scenarios. Students complete in-game lessons and challenges that allow for a higher level of understanding and in-field confidence. Perfect for all ages! ($49.95)