Hunter Education Program
It is the mission of the Massachusetts Hunter Education Program to protect the lives and safety of the public, promote the wise management and ethical use of our wildlife resource, and encourage a greater appreciation of the environment through education.
The Hunter Education Program is a public education effort providing instruction in the safe handling of firearms and other outdoor activities related to hunting and firearm use. Funding is derived from the sale of hunting and sporting licenses, and from federal excise taxes on firearms and archery equipment. Massachusetts offered its first hunter safety course in 1954, and to date has graduated more than 160,000 students. The program is administered by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, and courses are taught by certified volunteer instructors. Any person regardless of race, gender, citizenship or handicap may participate. Persons under 18 years of age must obtain written permission of parent or guardian in order to attend. With advance notification, the program will attempt to provide language translators or assistance for those with handicaps. Successful completion of a written or verbal exam is required in all Hunter Education Program courses.
In order to purchase a hunting or sporting license in any state, Canada and Mexico, all first time hunters must have a government-issued Basic Hunter Education Certificate. Such a certificate is earned by the successful completion of a Massachusetts Basic Hunter Education Course and is accepted in any state, Canada and Mexico. Some jurisdictions also require archery hunters, blackpowder hunters or trappers to successfully complete a government sponsored courses as well. These courses are offered by the MA Hunter Education Program.
All courses are conducted free of charge.
Treestand Safety Course Available Online
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife's Hunter Education Program has teamed up with the HUNTERcourse.com to offer tips and an opportunity to take a free, voluntary online treestand safety course on an external website. By reviewing this 15-minute interactive, narrated treestand safety course, a tree stand owner or user will learn about the latest Treestand Manufacturers Association's safety standards and guidelines.
Effectiveness of Blaze Orange
This short (5-minute) safety video from Kalkomey provides tips and about how wearing the right amount and kind of blaze orange can keep you safe in the field. It's useful for any outdoor user who is in the woods during hunting seasons.