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

By    |   Tuesday, 26 May 2015 10:58 AM

Maryland has a number of licenses a hunter must obtain before going after game big, small, in the air, or water. That is a given in most states, but Maryland and the Department of Natural Resources also require hunters to pass some classes before they will even sell a license.

These courses were designed with safety in mind and as an effort to reduce hunting accidents and violations. The Maryland Legislature made these classes mandatory in 1977.

While hunting licenses usually last a year, certification lasts longer. The Maryland Hunter Education Course is 10-14 hours long, and students must attend all classes to pass. Those younger than age 14 need to have an adult with them.

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This course covers hunter responsibility, firearms and ammunition, firearm handling and safety, marksmanship and shooting fundamentals, principles of wildlife management, bow hunting, muzzleloader hunting, tree stand safety, safety and first aid, water safety, and an overview of Maryland legal requirements.

A score on the 50-question test must be 80 percent or better to pass, and demonstrating firearm aptitude is required.

If you plan on using a firearm of some type you need to have a certificate of competency in firearms and hunting safety, or certification that you held a hunting license before July 1, 1977.

Already have a license? Hunters will have to prove they hunted on private property before 1977 in order to be exempt from purchasing a new license.

Junior hunters under the age of 16 must also complete a hunter safety and education course. Trappers also must have a certificate saying they passed a trapper education course.

The Maryland Natural Resources Police safety education section provides hunter education courses that will produce the required certification needed to purchase various licenses.

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Two of the courses offered lead to the certificate of competency in firearms and hunter safety. The department also offers trapper education and other hunter education courses.

There also is a Maryland hunter education Internet course that requires a mandatory one-day hunter education field day workshop in order to meet the state’s hunter education and safety requirement. Prospective students must be older than 13 to take the internet course that is available.

Anyone intending to trap furbearers such as beaver, coyote, fisher, gray fox, long-tailed weasel, mink, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, red fox, river otter, and skunk must get a certificate of trapper education from the DNR.

There are trapper education courses held statewide. However, any similar certificate issued by another state is acceptable and considered reciprocal for Maryland residents.

Most courses are offered in the late summer or early fall prior to hunting season starting in the fall. Some courses also are offered in the spring ahead of turkey season. Some can be completed in a weekend and others may take several weeknights plus a day on the weekend to finish.

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

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Maryland has a number of licenses a hunter must obtain before going after game big, small, in the air, or water. That is a given in most states, but Maryland and the Department of Natural Resources also require hunters to pass some classes before they will even sell a license.
hunting in maryland, safety courses, required, classes
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2015-58-26
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 10:58 AM
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