Washington Offers Online Hunters Education Program

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With a number of hunting seasons under way, prospective hunters can complete a required hunter education course through a new online program offered by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The online course is the best option for people this time of year, said Mik Mikitik, WDFW hunter education coordinator, who noted that a majority of the traditional classes are already full of students.

"The ability to take the course online will help accommodate those people unable to get into one of our classes or just unable to find the time to attend a class," said Mikitik.

WDFW's online hunter education program, which provides instruction on safety, wildlife conservation and ethics, is available at hunter-ed.com/wa/. Individuals can complete the majority of the program online, but must work with a target shooting facility to finish the shooting proficiency portion of the course.

Successful completion of a hunter education course is a state requirement for individuals born after Jan. 1, 1972, seeking their first hunting license.

The course tests individuals on their hunting knowledge, skill and attitude. Online access to the course’s material and practice tests is free, although the final exam is $15.

In addition to the online course, WDFW offers nearly 600 traditional hunter education courses throughout the state each year. The hunter education program is funded through federal excise taxes collected on the sale of firearms, ammunition and some archery equipment.

"The online course is not an easy alternative to a traditional class," Mikitik said. "But for people who have the discipline and motivation to complete all the requirements on their own time it may be a good option."