Basic Hunter Education-Independent Study option

Requires 2 class sessions combined with homestudy hours

The Independent Study Basic Hunter Education Course is an alternative format to a traditional classroom course. Students enrolled in an independent study course, are guided by an instructor team and take the same course as students in a traditional course but will work independently to complete some of the essential coursework on their own. Independent Study students can accomplish this coursework by either completing a free online study guide or reading the student manual to answer questions in a student workbook.

The homework is only part of the course.
Students must also attend two class sessions and PASS the final exam as well.

The main advantage with Independent Study is that this format offers flexibility. Students learn some of the material, at their own pace, on their own time, without attending several classes. This format does require as much time and effort as a traditional course and students will need to allot 6-8 hours of their time to complete the necessary coursework. Independent Study is a good option for students with tight schedules and who are self-motivated, conscientious and learn well on their own.

Minors: Students under the age of 18 must have parental consent to attend a Hunter Education course. Parents/Guardians are invited and encouraged to stay during the class sessions. Please note that this format may be difficult for students less than 16 years of age unless they receive guidance while completing the home assignment.

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. Enroll in a Massachusetts Basic Hunter Education course that is listed as a "2 session course with Independent Study"
  2. Attend the first in-class session: Obtain instruction on course requirements, receive study materials including the student manual and learn about hunting laws and hunter ethics.
  3. Complete and submit the necessary homework: Options are explained in detail below and will be discussed during the first in-class session.
  4. Participate in the field day and take the final exam: At the field day, students participate in a number of hands-on activities. Class participation and performance is a factor in determining successful completion of the course. Students are expected to demonstrate safe gun handling and a mature and responsible attitude toward firearms, people and natural resources. There is also a multiple choice, final written exam. Students must pass the exam with a score of 80% or better.

Upon successful completion, graduates will receive a Certificate of Completion via postal mail recognized in all U.S. states, Canada, and Mexico.

Homework Options

Students have 3 options to complete the homestudy portion of the Basic Hunter Education Independent Study course.

  • Workbook

  1. Complete the Workbook which will be handed out to students during the first class session. The Workbook is designed to strengthen what you learn by reading and studying the Northeast Hunter Education Student's manual. It is 36 pages long and is divided into chapters. We suggest you read and understand one chapter of the student manual at a time and then complete the corresponding chapter in the workbook, answering all questions.
  2. Bring in the completed workbook to the field day.


  • Online - guide

You will need an email address, an internet connection, and access to a printer.

  1. Visit and create an account using your legal name and your email address (please note, each student will need their own, unique email address to create an account).      
  2. Complete each of the end-of-section quizzes with an 80% or better. You can retake each quiz as many times as necessary. This guide is comprised of 16 sections (12 chapters and 4 virtual field day hunt situations).
  3. Print proof of completion: Once all 16 quizzes are successfully completed, please follow the instructions given in-class to prove that you have completed the online study guide. 


  • CD-ROM* (old option)

*This is an old option and may not be available.

You will need a computer and access to a printer (the CD-ROM is not compatible on all computers).

  1. Complete the quizzes at the end of each section and check your answers. Your score will pop-up on a separate page. Retake the quizzes until you receive a score of 100%.
  2. Print the score pages and bring them to the field day.
    • If you have problems printing the score page copy and paste your score into a word processing program and print from there.
    • If you have problems seeing the score page, you can print the quiz page and complete it by hand.

Field day instructions

You must pass in your completed homework at the start of your field day in order to participate and take the exam. If you do not bring your completed homework, you will be turned away.

  • Do not bring any firearms or ammunition; all necessary equipment will be supplied.
  • Dress for the weather. Activities can occur outdoors rain or shine.
  • Bring a lunch, snacks, and plenty to drink and/or a reusable water bottle. 

Additional Resources for Field day instructions


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