State: Complete hunter ed before turkey season

SPOKANE — The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is encouraging young hunters to complete hunter education before youth turkey hunting season opens.

The youth season-opener is April 1 and general spring turkey season opens April 15.

“Now is a great time to complete hunter education because we are holding more in-person classes before the spring turkey hunting seasons,” hunter education Manager David Whipple said. “Completing hunter education early in the year ensures that hunters can participate in turkey season and other hunting seasons throughout the year.”

The state offers both traditional, in-person hunter education classes, as well as online options to complete the hunter education requirement.

The traditional classroom experience includes direct instruction from certified volunteer instructors, which can be important for younger students. The online course offers the same content but allows the student to complete the course at a time and place convenient for them.

“Students 17 years of age and younger who take the online course are still required to complete an in-person field skills evaluation led by certified instructors,” Whipple said.

Students 18 years of age and older can complete the online class and a virtual “field day” to satisfy the requirements for certification.

“Students who complete the online class and virtual field day are encouraged to attend a field skills evaluation for additional in-person training — with certified instructors — but it isn’t a requirement,” said Whipple.

Per state law, all hunters born after Jan. 1, 1972 must complete a hunter education course to buy a hunting license.

A hunter education deferral is available for hunters 10 years of age and older who want to try hunting with an eligible licensed hunter before completing a hunter education course themselves.


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