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  1. Illinois DNR
  2. Safety

Hunter Safety


Who Must Take The Course

On January 1, 1996, a State law was passed that anyone born on or after January 1, 1980 may not be issued a hunting license unless he or she presents a valid Hunter Education Certificate of Competency issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Safety Education Division or another state.

NEW - Honorably discharged Illinois veterans may receive a Hunter Safety Card by completing the online self-study portion of Hunter Safety requirements, without taking the field day portion of the course.  To obtain a Hunter Safety Card, veterans must provide their online hunter safety voucher and military duty documentation (DD214). Mail to: IDNR Safety Education Section, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL. 62702-1271.

Many states are now requiring adult hunters to furnish evidence of having completed a Hunter Education Course prior to issuance of a non-resident license.

The Illinois Hunter Education Program consists of a minimum of ten hours of instruction. The educational material is based on a sixth-grade reading level. These courses cover the basics of:

  • hunter responsibility and ethics
  • treestand safety
  • firearms and ammunition
  • field safety    
  • first aid
  • bowhunting 
  • muzzleloading
  • wildlife conservation and identification
  • state regulations

Persons completing the minimum 10 hours of instruction and successfully completing the final examination will receive a State of Illinois Certificate of Competency and a graduate patch.


Two Ways To Take The Course

Instructor-led Classes-The traditional and preferred hunter education method is through a 10 hour instructor-led class and demonstrations. Classes may be a few hours a night for 2-4 nights or a full weekend class. The final class will end with a test to pass the course. Interested individuals may call 1-800-832-2599 or check List of Education Courses by County.

Online Self-Study Course-Students may study course material online and complete each section of the course. They must attend a Field Day which includes hands-on participation and a final exam. Find out more.

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