New York State extends online hunter education course through August

The Department of Environmental Conservation is also making an online bowhunter education course option available starting July 15.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Looking to get a hunting license? Make sure you complete the mandatory hunter education course first. 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced on Wednesday that the DEC’s online hunter education course will be available through the end of August. The online course was first made available in April after in-person hunter education courses were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The DEC says more than 24,000 hunters have successfully completed the online course since mid-April, which is about 20 percent higher than the number of people who typically take it. Of those completing the online course, about 40 percent were women. Also, almost half of the people taking the online course were 30 years of age or older.

“Many new hunters went afield for this year’s turkey season and we look forward to continuing to welcome new hunters with this online safety course,” Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “Hunter safety is our top priority, and expanding the availability of these online courses will help us engage more New Yorkers who are ready to be a part of our state’s proud hunting tradition.”

The DEC is also making an online bowhunter education course option available starting July 15. Any hunter who wishes to hunt big game with a bow must complete this mandatory online course in addition to the required hunter education course. 

The online courses can be completed in six to eight hours. Both cover all the topics that traditional in-person courses would cover, including firearm and bow safety, tree stand safety, hunting ethics, wildlife conservation, and New York State hunting laws and regulations.

Those who successfully complete the online courses and pass the final exam will receive their hunter education certificate or bowhunter education certificate. The DEC says courses are available to New York State residents who are 11 years old and older; however, only those 12 years old or older may purchase a hunting license.

Both courses will be available through August 31. The hunter education course is $19.95 and the bowhunter education course is $30.

Visit DEC’s Hunter Education Program page to learn more about the online courses or to sign up.