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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Sportsman Education

Hunter and Trapper Safety and Responsibility

Sportsman education teaches future sportsman and sportswoman how to be safe, responsible and ethical hunters and trappers. After successful completion of the required course(s), students will receive a certificate of qualification that must be used when purchasing a first-time sporting license.

Course Details

Choose a course below to review course content, requirements, study materials, schedules and more.

All courses are free to take and are taught by DEC-certified instructors. Although primarily offered for first-time hunters or trappers, anyone is welcome to attend a sportsman education course, whether it is for a refresher or an interest of the topic.

*SIGN UP EARLY! Courses fill quickly as hunting seasons approach.

firearms

Hunter Education - Required for first-time hunters using firearm or archery equipment to pursue big game, small game, turkey, waterfowl and migratory game birds.

compound bow

Bowhunter Education - Required in addition to the Hunter Education course (above) when using a bow and arrow to pursue deer and bear only. If bowhunting for other wild game, this course is not required but recommended.

firearm and compound bow

Combination Hunter and Bowhunter Education - Students can receive both their basic hunter and bowhunter education certificates when taking this combination course.

traps

Trapper Education - Required for first-time trappers pursuing furbearers or small game.

ducks in flight

Waterfowl ID Education - Required to gain access to select State Parks and National Wildlife Refuges open to waterfowl hunting.

Find a Course Near You

Visit the new Sportsman Education Course Schedule Online Registration (External Link) to find a course being offered near you and register today. Narrow your course selection choice by clicking on one of the above disciplines. Please Note: Courses are removed from the list once they are full.

Instructor Information

Current and prospective instructors can get all information they need by visiting the Teaching Sportsman Education page.

Replace a Lost Certificate

Call 1-888-HUNT-ED2. You will be asked for your name, date of birth, type of course you took and when and where you took the course. Certificates dated earlier than 1980 cannot be looked up.

Other State Certificates

New York State accepts Sportsman Education Certificates from other states when purchasing a sporting licenses.

Certificate Requirements in Other States and Countries: To verify whether a New York State Sportsman Education Certificate is accepted elsewhere, visit the International Hunter Education Association (External Link) to find certificate restrictions and requirements in all other states and countries. Most states and countries will require to see your hunter education certificate and will not accept your hunting or trapping license as proof of a certificate.

Contact Us

Contact a Sportsman Education Office near you.

Program Funding

The New York State's Sportsman Education Program is funded by purchases of sporting licenses through the New York State Conservation Fund and purchases of firearms, ammunitions, traps, etc. through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Fund (External Link).

Equal Opportunity

Sportsman education courses are available to all individuals without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. Complaints of discrimination should be sent to the Office of Equal Opportunity, U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of the Secretary, Washington, D.C. 20240.


More about Sportsman Education:

  • Hunter Education - Required for first-time hunters using firearm or archery equipment to pursue big game, small game, turkey, waterfowl and migratory game birds.
  • Bowhunter Education - Required in addition to the Hunter Education course when using a bow and arrow to pursue deer and bear only. If bowhunting for other wild game, this course is not required but recommended.
  • Combination Hunter and Bowhunter Education - Receive both a basic hunter and bowhunter education certificate when taking this combination course.
  • Trapper Education - Required for first-time trappers pursuing furbearers or small game.
  • Waterfowl Identification Education - Required to gain access to select State Parks and National Wildlife Refuges open to waterfowl hunting.
  • Crossbow Hunting Qualification - Required online training for all hunters that intend to hunt with a crossbow.
  • Teaching Sportsman Education - Information for current and prospective Sportsman Education instructors.
  • Contact a Sportsman Education Office - List of contact numbers for DEC's Regional Sportsman Education Offices.
  • Hunter Safety Basics - Information on safe use of firearms, tree stand safety tips, benefits of wearing hunter orange, and fitness and health information for hunters.
  • Hunter Safety Statistics - This page is designed to keep the public updated on any Sportsman Education news. It will provide information on NYS volunteer instructors, coordinators, and any other exciting Sportsman Education news.
  • Shooting Range Small Grants Program - Infomation on the Shooting Range Small Grants Program and instructions for applying for a grant.
  • Important Links
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-8966.
  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC
    Sportsman Education Program
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4800

    1-888-HUNT-ED2
    (1-888-486-8332)
    518-402-8966
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