Alaska Hunter Education Course

Firearms safety demonstration

The Hunter Education course provides training in firearms safety, wildlife conservation, and respect for our natural resources, landowners, and other hunters. Graduates receive a lifetime certification recognized by all states, Canadian provinces, and Mexico. Since its inception in 1949, over 30 million students have completed hunter education training in the United States. Conclusive evidence shows that hunter education courses have dramatically reduced hunting related firearms accidents — up to 75% in some states — and have brought about positive change in hunter skills, attitudes, and behavior.

Requirements for hunters before hunting in Units 7, 13, 14, 15, and 20:

  • If you were born after January 1, 1986 and are 18 years old or older, you must have successfully completed a hunter education course before you hunt in the units listed above.
  • If you are under 18 years of age, you must have:
    1. successfully completed a hunter education course —OR—
    2. hunt under the direct immediate supervision of a licensed hunter who is:
      1. 18 years of age or older and has successfully completed a hunter education course OR
      2. born on or before January 1, 1986.

In addition, hunter education certification is required before anyone may legally hunt in the following areas in Alaska: the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge (14C), Eagle River Management Area (14C bears and small game), Palmer/Wasilla Management Area (14A shotgun for big game), Eklutna Lake Management Area (14C bears), and the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge (hunters under 10 years of age who are not certified can hunt as long as they are under the direct supervision of an adult).

Hunter education certification is required for all youth hunters participating in "Youth Hunts."

The hunter education certification is valid in any state where hunter education is required to purchase a license. Hunter education classes are taught by dedicated volunteer instructors who commit valuable time and expertise to providing instruction to over 2,000 Alaskans of all ages each year. The next time you have a safe and enjoyable hunting experience be sure to thank a volunteer.

Hunters wishing to hunt in a weapons restricted area must successfully complete a course for the weapon with which they will be hunting. Certain bowhunter, crossbow, muzzleloader, and shotgun hunts also require the hunter to be in possession of a hunter education certification as well. Please refer to the current Alaska Hunting Regulations for weapons restricted hunt information. Weapons specific certification courses (crossbow, bowhunter, muzzleloader) DO NOT satisfy the hunter education certification requirement, and hunter education DOES NOT satisfy the weapons specific certification requirement.

Note: We want Hunter Education to be a positive experience for all participants. The class curriculum is designed for 10-year-olds and up. Younger children may have difficulty passing this course depending upon reading comprehension, attention span, and physical abilities. If you have any questions, please contact your local HIT Program staff.

Students in a boat with guns


There are two ways to take an Alaska hunter education course:

  1. Online course + field day: 2 parts - online study with a 4-hour in-person field day
  2. Instructor-led course: 2 parts - workbook home study with an 8-hour in-person field day

For more information, contact HIT Program staff.