Learn to Hunt Programs

Hunters with little or no experience can learn skills and techniques used to hunt different game animals. Courses are geared toward recent Basic Hunter Education graduates and include classroom learning and outdoor skills exercises.

Taught by volunteers, the courses utilize the experience and knowledge of seasoned sportsmen and -women. Courses range from half-day condensed classes to three-day, in-depth courses.

Upcoming programs

Get ready for deer season with free classes, online resources, and more! If you are new to deer hunting, or looking for a refresher, MassWildlife has scheduled four Learn to Hunt Deer classes to help you feel confident and improve your skills as a hunter. The information covered in each class is different, so you can sign up for a single class, register for several, or even take all four!

  • Deer Hunting 101: In-Person Class, Saturday, September 24, 9 a.m.–noon in Westborough, MA
    Join staff from MassWildlife and the MA chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation for an in-person class to learn deer hunting basics. During the three-hour outdoor class, students will rotate through stations to learn about scouting, treestands, tips for during the hunt, and what to do after the hunt. Registration is required and space is limited, sign up now.
  • Scouting for Deer: Online Class, Thursday, September 29, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
    MassWildlife staff from across the state will share tips for finding areas to hunt, demonstrate how to use online maps to identify good deer habitat, and describe what sign to look for while scouting in the field. This class will be taught through Zoom. Registration is required, sign up now.
  • Scouting for Deer: In-Person Class, Sunday, October 2, 9–11 a.m. in Gardner, MA
    Come scouting with MassWildlife staff and learn what to look for when scouting for deer. During this two-hour class, participants will walk through the High Ridge Wildlife Management Area while instructors point out different sign and features to look for when scouting for deer. Registration is required, sign up now.

Previous programs

Learn to Hunt Waterfowl Workshop: A free, one-day workshop for new hunters to learn and practice waterfowl hunting skills including: shooting, decoy placement, calling, gear and safety. The date and location for this year’s clinic is listed below:

Learn to Hunt Deer: This hands-on course provides training for adult hunters with little or no deer hunting experience to become safe, successful, and responsible deer hunters. This course covers deer hunting skills, including scouting for a hunting area, mapping out possible hunting locations, selecting the right equipment, the safe use of a treestand, shooting practice, and field dressing techniques.

Turkey Calling Clinics: These one-hour turkey calling workshops provide guidance as participants practice their turkey calls with experts! Participants spend the hour working on the one type of call; box calls, pot (or slate) calls, or mouth calls. Experienced turkey callers help participants with their calls. MassWildlife provides practice calls or participants can bring their own. 

Learn to Hunt Turkeys Clinic: This full-day, hands-on clinic teaches the basic skills needed to become a safe, successful, and responsible turkey hunter. Learn from experienced turkey hunters and practice turkey hunting techniques including shooting, calling in a bird, scouting, and how to pick and set up a location.