Welcome to the Wyoming Hunter Education (HE) Program. Hunting has always been a part of humanlife. For most of their history, humans depended on hunting for their survival. No other form ofhuman activity has a longer tradition.
The first HE courses, originally called hunter safety, were designed over 50 years ago with themain purpose of reducing hunting accidents. All states now have HE courses, with over 25 milliongraduates since the programs were started. A decrease in hunting accidents of well over 50% showshow effective these programs have been. Hunting is statistically safer than almost all other formsof recreation.
While the major purpose of HE programs is still the prevention of hunting and firearm relatedaccidents, more and more emphasis is being placed on improving knowledge about the heritage ofhunting. The importance of the young hunter developing a sense of ethics and responsibility isstressed. Both the first time and veteran hunter are encouraged to become involved in all mattersrelated to hunting, wildlife, and the environment. Responsible, ethical behavior by hunters andpersonal involvement in the community will be essential to the future of wildlife and the survivalof hunting.
HE courses in Wyoming are sponsored by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD), and bysimilar wildlife management agencies in other states. The major sources of funding for theseagencies are from sales of hunting and fishing licenses and from federal excise taxes on huntingand fishing equipment.
In Wyoming, there are over 350 volunteer instructors, training over 5,000 HE graduates each year.These volunteers donate their time, ability, and effort to share their knowledge and experience withHE students. Without the efforts of these volunteers the program in HE would not be affordableor possible.
Under the provisions of Section 23-2-106 of Wyoming statues (a) Except as provided in subsection (c)of this section, no person born on or after January 1, 1966, may take any wildlife by the use offirearms on land other than that of his own family, unless the person possesses or can demonstratethey have obtained a certificate of competency and safety in the use and handling of firearmsas provided by subsection (b) of this section.
(b) The Department shall institute and coordinate a statewide course of instruction in safetyand competency in handling firearms. The Department may cooperate with local governmental agenciesor private organizations in providing hunter safety courses. The department may establish and chargea reasonable fee for enrollment in a hunter safety course. Attendance and successful completion ofa hunter safety course offered by an association or governmental agency approved by the commissionsatisfies the requirements of subsection (a) of this section.
(c) A person who has not received a certificate of competency and safety in the use and handlingof firearms as provided by subsection (b) of this section may apply to the department for a specialauthorization to take wildlife with the use of a firearm while being accompanied by a person who hasattained the age of majority, acting as a mentor, who possesses or can demonstrate he has obtained acertificate of competency and safety in the use and handling of firearms and who possesses a validWyoming hunting license. A mentor shall not provide supervision for more than one (1) person at a timein the field. The special authorization shall be valid for not more than one (1) year. No person mayapply for more than one (1) special authorization.
The traditional classroom HE course shall consist of a minimum of twelve (12) hours and a maximumof eighteen (18) hours of instruction. The eighteen hour maximum instruction may be waived whenthe course is offered by a school system.
The online HE course varies in length, but the accompanying field day is four (4) hours. To learnmore about the online HE course, click here.
There shall be no charge by the WGFD for participation of students in a HE course. Certifiedinstructors may charge each student a fee, not to exceed $10.00 to offset out-of-pocket expenses.The online HE course will also have a fee of $19.50 to thevendor providing the course.
The Wyoming HE program is conducted by a cadre of volunteer instructors throughout the state. Allclasses are taught by volunteers and/or Department personnel. The dates, times, and places forthese classes are set by the instructors. HE course offerings will be listed on the WGFDweb site.
The course consists of six required sections. These sections are:
1. Hunter Responsibility and Ethics
2. Wildlife Conservation and Management
3. Firearms and Firearm Safety
4. Game and Fish Statutes and Regulations
5. Game Care and Wildlife Identification
6. Outdoor Safety
A written test is administered at the end of the course with a minimum score of 70% requiredto successfully complete the course. Where possible, students are given a chance to live fire ata shooting range. Whether the student passes also depends on attitude and cooperation during theclass and the firearms handling.
An entrance examination is required for admittance into an online-based HE field day with aminimum score of 90%.
Each student who passes the course receives a temporary Wyoming HE certificate that is good for two weeks. After the two week time frame students must visit the Department web page and print off their permanent cards. These cards allow him or her to hunt inWyoming and any other states with reciprocity to Wyoming.
If you should lose your HE card, you can print duplicates, at no charge.