Tags: Gun Control | US State Facts | hunting in Washington | safety courses

Hunting in Washington: Are Safety Courses Required to Hunt in Washington? How Do I Pass Classes?

By    |   Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 11:33 AM

Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1972, who wishes to go hunting in Washington is required to take hunter safety education. Proof of completing this requirement must be presented prior to the issuance of a hunting license.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) hosts classes throughout the state on a rolling basis during the calendar year. Every hunter who completes the course receives a card verifying completion. Once the course is completed, the certification is considered permanent, meaning the hunter never has to take the course again upon passage.

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Washington hunters can take the basic education course one of two ways: traditional course or online course. In a traditional course, hunters participate in a brick-and-mortar classroom environment where they receive detailed instruction. Participants take part in practical exercises and participate in firearms training. The course covers hunter safety, responsibility, and wildlife management.

For the online course, hunters participate in the educational portion of the course through a virtual classroom. This satisfies the educational portion, but a field test must also be completed. Hunters register for the field evaluation upon passing the course. The course is offered through Hunter-ed.com. Participants study the material for free and are only required to pay the fee once they have passed. The site offers a lengthy study guide to help hunters pass the course.

While you can take a course online or in person, all registration for all basic courses must be done through the state's website. Active members of the military can apply for an exemption to the range evaluation portion of the course. The state also offers other hunter education programs, which include bow hunter education and trapper education.

The bow hunter education course can be taken either online or in a traditional classroom environment. The class is not offered as widely as basic hunter education, so hunters are encouraged to enroll early to get a seat. This class is encouraged, but not required.

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Like the basic hunter education course, the trapping education course is required for all first-time trappers. Hunters, regardless of age, must pass a written examination before they will be permitted to trap animals. Courses are offered on a limited basis throughout the year. The state offers a lengthy study guide on the WDFW website.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1972, who wishes to go hunting in Washington is required to take hunter safety education. Proof of completing this requirement must be presented prior to the issuance of a hunting license.
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