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


The Alaska Hunter Education course is composed of two parts-the online course plus an in-person field day.

Step 1: Complete the Online Hunter Education Course

Complete the online portion of the hunter education course (6-8 hours and includes a written test). The online course costs $19.95 and can be accessed at:

Step 2: Receive a Field Day Qualifier Certificate

Once you pay and pass the online course, you will receive a Field Day Qualifier Certificate via email. After 1-3 days, you will be able to sign-up online to attend an in-person Hunter Education Field Day.

Step 3: Sign-Up to Attend an In-Person Field Day

Field Days are listed according to location/city on the ADF&G website. Use your Field Day Qualifier Number to enroll in a specific Field Day.

Step 4: Attend an In-Person Field Day

The Field Day is 4-5 hours and is administered by certified volunteer instructors. The Field Day will include a short review of key safety issues and Alaska-specific regulations, a firearms handling exercise with non-functioning firearms, a field course, and a live-fire proficiency shoot. All firearms, ammunition, and targets are provided — no personal firearms are allowed. There is no additional fee for the Field Day.

Once you've completed all of the above steps, you'll receive your Hunter Education Certification Card in the mail.

In-Person Field Day Details

Young hunters in a row with guns

The Field Day associated with the Hunter Education Course will be 4-5 hours depending on the amount of students attending. The Field Day will be administered by certified volunteer instructors and will include a short review of key safety issues and Alaska specific regulations, a firearms handling exercise with non-functioning firearms, a field course, and a required shooting proficiency.

All firearms, ammunition, and targets are provided, no personal firearms are allowed. During the required proficiency shoot, each student shall fire five practice rounds from the following positions: standing, kneeling, and sitting (15 total practice shots). After students have fired their practice rounds and have had the opportunity to check targets, the proficiency shoot for certification will be administered.

For the proficiency shoot, a student will fire five rounds from any one of the three positions (standing, kneeling, or sitting) and cannot have the aid of any type of rest. The student must place four out of five shots within two inches with an air rifle at 33-feet, three inches with a rimfire rifle at 50-feet (indoors), or four inches with a rimfire rifle at 25-yards (outdoors). We are looking for a "group", not bullseye shooting.

Note: Students with disabilities will not be required to sit, kneel, or lay prone.

If a student does not successfully complete the Field Day portion of the course within one year of completing the online portion, they will be required to repeat the entire course to be certified.

Click here to enroll in the Online Hunter Education course
View the Hunter Education Field Day schedule
Click here to sign up for a Field Day