Welcome to the Wyoming Hunter Education Program. You are about to join the millions of people throughout the country who enjoy the tradition of hunting, but above all, respect and work to conserve wild animals and wild places.
Hunting has always been a part of human life. For most of their history, humans depended on hunting for their survival. No other form of human activity has a longer tradition. For this tradition to continue will require safe, responsible, knowledgeable hunters who are dedicated to keeping sufficient habitats for wild animal populations.
The first hunter safety courses were designed over 50 years ago with the main purpose of reducing hunting accidents. All states now have hunter education courses, with over 25 million graduates since the programs were started. A decrease in hunting accidents of well over 50% shows how effective these programs have been. Hunting is statistically safer than almost all other forms of recreation.
While the major purpose of hunter education programs is still the prevention of hunting and firearm related accidents, more and more emphasis is being placed on improving knowledge about the heritage of hunting. The importance of the young hunter developing a sense of ethics and responsibility is stressed. And both the first time and veteran hunter are encouraged to become involved in all matters related to hunting, wildlife, and the environment. Responsible, ethical behavior by hunters, and personal involvement in the community will be essential to the future of wildlife and the survival of hunting.
Hunter education courses in Wyoming are sponsored by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department, and by similar wildlife management agencies in other states. The major sources of funding for these agencies are from sales of hunting and fishing licenses and from federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment.
The cost of hunter education courses would still be prohibitive if professional instructors had to be hired. In Wyoming, there are over 350 volunteer instructors, training over 5,000 hunter education graduates each year. These volunteers donate their time, ability, and effort to share their knowledge and experience with you and others like you. Without the efforts of these volunteers the program in hunter education would not be affordable or 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 of firearms on land other than that of his own family, unless the person possesses or can demonstrate they have obtained a certificate of competency and safety in the use and handling of firearms as provided by subsection (b)of this section.
(b) The Department shall institute and coordinate a statewide course of instruction in safety and competency in handling firearms. The Department may cooperate with local governmental agencies or private organizations in providing hunter safety courses. The department may establish and charge a reasonable fee for enrollment in a hunter safety course. Attendance and successful completion of a hunter safety course offered by an association or governmental agency approved by the commission satisfies 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 handling of firearms as provided by subsection (b) of this section may apply to the department for a special authorization to take wildlife with the use of a firearm while being accompanied by a person who has attained the age of majority,acting as a mentor, who possesses or can demonstrate he has obtained a certificate of competency and safety in the use and handling of firearms and who possesses a valid Wyoming hunting license. A mentor shall not provide supervision for more than one (1) person at a time in the field. The special authorization shall be valid for not more than one (1) year. No person may apply for more than one (1) special authorization.
The Hunter Safety course shall consist of a minimum of twelve hours and a maximum of eighteen hours of instruction. The eighteen hour maximum instruction may be waived when the course is offered by a school system.
There shall be no charge by the Department for participation of students in a Hunter Safety course.Certified instructors may charge each student a fee, not to exceed $10.00 to offset out-of-pocket expenses.
The Wyoming Hunter Education program is conducted by a corp of volunteer instructors throughout the state. All classes are taught by volunteers and/or department personnel. The dates, times and places for these classes are set by the instructors. The Game and Fish Department, in cooperation with the instructors,determines when and where classes will be conducted. Hunter Education course offerings will be listed on the Department Web 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 required to successfully complete the course. Where possible, students are given a chance to live fire at a shooting range. Whether the student passes also depends on attitude and cooperation during the class.
An entrance examination is required for admittance into an internet-based Hunter Education Field Day with a minimum score of 90%.
Each student who passes the course receives a Wyoming Hunter Education card which allows him or her to hunt in Wyoming and any other states with reciprocity to Wyoming.