Bowhunting 101: Bowhunter Education and Buying a Hunting License

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Take a Bowhunter Education Course and Buy a Hunting License

Newcomers to bowhunting have many questions. For example, which hunting laws apply? How do I safely hunt from treestands? And how do I process game animals for their meat?

Bowhunter education courses answer all your questions and prepare you to hunt. These classes are usually held on weekends, and teach you everything needed to start bowhunting. Let’s review what you should know about these important courses.

Why Take Bowhunter Education?

In some states hunting education is a requirement. It’s never a bad idea to make sure you know your way around a bow before you hunt. Photo Credit: ATA

One important reason to take a hunter- or bowhunter-education course is that it’s a prerequisite for buying a bowhunting license in some states. These classes are sometimes called hunter-safety courses. To bowhunt in many states, you must first pass a state-approved course. Prerequisites vary, so check your wildlife agency’s website for its requirements.

Even if your state doesn’t require bowhunter education, these courses are great opportunities to answer bowhunting questions. If you’re new to hunting, you must learn much about its necessary skills before carrying your bow into the woods. Bowhunter-education courses are basically crash courses in bowhunting, game laws and hunter safety. You’ll learn many critical skills to boost your confidence in the woods.

Where They’re Held

Bowhunter-education courses are taught at schools, colleges, archery clubs, archery shops and municipal buildings. Some classes are taught online, but make sure they’re recognized by your state wildlife agency. Agency websites list the classes and their locations. Sign up early because these classes fill quickly.

Course Material

You’ll learn everything you need to know about hunting from safety to shot placement. Photo Credit: ATA

Hunting laws can seem complicated and difficult to understand, but they’re reviewed in depth during the classes. By the end of the course, you’ll understand your state’s hunting laws and seasons.

Additional topics covered include hunting tactics, treestand safety, hunter safety, hunting laws, shot placement, blood trailing, field care and equipment needs. You’ll also learn to safely use a treestand harness and avoid common hunting accidents.

Shot placement and field care for animals you arrow are important. Bowhunters must know exactly where to aim on animals at different angles to ensure quick, humane kills. Bowhunters must also be able to read sign and follow blood trails.

Field dressing animals gives some new bowhunters angst, but experienced bowhunters walk you through the process during classroom instruction. By the end of the course, you’ll feel confident about field dressing animals.

What Now?

After passing your bowhunter education course, you’ll get a certification card with a unique ID number. This card and ID number prove you’ve completed the course when buying a hunting license.

Most states let hunters buy licenses online, and then receive the license by mail or print it at home. You can also buy your licenses at some archery shops or other licensing agents.

By taking a bowhunter-education course, buying a hunting license, and visiting an archery store to buy your bow, you’ll take the first steps to becoming a bowhunter. Your next steps are to become proficient with your bow by taking lessons. Then find a place to hunt, learn more about hunting, do some scouting, and start hunting.

Find your state wildlife agency’s website here to determine its bowhunter-education requirements.


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