Sign Up for Minnesota Hunter Safety Classes

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds hunters to sign up for a firearms safety hunter education class now if they plan to hunt this fall. Hunters can not buy a hunting license in Minnesota and many other states unless they have completed the training.

"Instructors throughout the state are gearing up for the late summer and fall rush," said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR hunter education coordinator. "So now is the time to start planning for the fall hunting season by registering for a class today."

In Minnesota, hunters born after Dec. 31, 1979, must complete a DNR firearms safety training course, or equivalent course from another state before purchasing a license for big or small game.

"Every year we have hopeful hunters who wait until the last minute when courses are no longer available," Hammer said. "Usually we are able to get them into a class somewhere, but every year there are a few who cannot hunt because they didn't plan early."

The vast majority of volunteer instructors are also hunters, Hammer said. Their goal is to have most of the courses completed prior to the small game opener. They also want their students to enjoy a full season of hunting opportunities.

Hunters who do not plan now frequently encounter problems when they hunt out of state. Many states have more stringent requirements than Minnesota when it comes to mandatory hunter education requirements. Colorado, for example, requires a hunter education certificate for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1949. Neighboring states such as North Dakota and Iowa have requirements for those born after 1961 and 1967.

"If you have lost your certificate or have questions about certification from other states, now is the time to get a certificate in your hand so you won't miss the opportunity to hunt in Minnesota or take that trip of a lifetime to Colorado this fall," Hammer said.

Late summer and fall classes are now available, and new classes are posted every day. Classes fill-up very fast this time of year. For more information and class listings, log on to, or call (651) 296-6157 or toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367).