ADVISORY: A liability release is required by law for all participants in the mandatory live-firing experience portion of all Delaware hunter education courses. The signature of a parent or guardian of any student younger than 18 must be notarized. The completed original waiver must be mailed to the Office of Hunter Education at least one week prior to course starting date. Click here to download your release along with details and instructions.
The Delaware Hunter Education Program is committed to putting safe, ethical and educated hunters in the field. The program requires anyone born after Jan. 1, 1967, to satisfactorily complete a Basic Hunter Education Course before obtaining a Delaware Hunting license. Since it was established in 1970, more than 35,000 Delaware hunters have been certified through the Delaware Hunter Education Program.
The program aims to preserve Delaware’s heritage of hunting through education. With an emphasis on safety, the program has proven to be extremely effective in reducing hunting accidents.
While the accident rate has significantly decreased, changing demographics and the decreasing amount of open space for habitat and hunting have created new considerations for hunters, landowners, the Division of Fish and Wildlife and Delaware’s general public (who may or may not be hunters themselves). In response, the Delaware Hunter Education Program is also changing to meet the demands and challenges of a new hunting era.
Our emphasis continues to be on safety–-through improved methods and techniques of Delaware’s volunteer hunting instructors. Today’s curriculum includes landowner relations, ethical behavior, wildlife identification, wildlife management and conservation, hunting and game laws and their enforcement.
Become a volunteer hunting instructor! Click here for a Volunteer Hunter Instructor Application.
In addition to Delaware's mandatory Basic Hunter Education, Turkey Education and Trapper Education courses, the Hunter Education program offers numerous advanced courses in Bowhunting, Muzzleloading, Migratory Waterfowl and Deer Hunting, and "Proper Game Care – From Field to Table."
The new Delaware Master Hunter Program provides advanced hunter education for the experienced hunter and strives to develop advocates, ambassadors and role models for hunting with the goal of continuing the heritage of hunting and ensuring its future for generations to come. In addition, the Young Waterfowler's Program, Young Ethical Hunter Program and the Becoming An Outdoors-Woman Program are geared for women and youth.
All of these courses and programs give hunters and trappers a resource for continued educational opportunities that keep them updated in specific disciplines. Hunters have a responsibility to themselves, other hunters, landowners and wildlife, to continue their education beyond the basics.
Hunter Ed Option 1 - Live Class
Sign up for traditional basic hunter education course given live at one of the classroom locations throughout the state. Delaware law now requires all basic hunter education course participants to participate in a live firing experience with a trained instructor. Live firing of shotguns requires a liability release signed by students 18 or older or a notarized signature of parents / guardians of students under the age of 18. All students must have protective shooting glasses and hearing protection. Adult and youth firearms, targets and ammunition will be provided. All live courses are free of charge with most held in the late summer and fall. Classes are available all year at Ommelanden Hunter/Trapper Education Center on Route 9 near New Castle. Pre-registration is required. To sign up, go to the Hunter Education online access or call 302-735-3600.
Hunters should also know that:
Early pre-registration is advised because class seating is limited and classes fill quickly as hunting season approaches.
Certification cards can be printed online within a few days after the course, and must be presented to purchase a Delaware Hunting License.
Certification will not be issued to youth under 10 years of age and children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information, contact:
Office of Hunter Education
6180 Hay Point Landing Road
Smyrna, DE 19977
Office: (302) 735-3600
Other Hunter Education Web Links of Interest
Hunter Ed Option 2 - Internet Course
Complete your hunter education coursework online with either of two private vendors. Both courses allow you to study and take the exam for free, with a fee due only when you are ready to have the vendor certify your successful completion. The State of Delaware has reviewed and approved these interactive courses but receives no portion of the vendor’s fee.
The vendors are:
Upon your successful completion of the course, the vendor will create a “Field Day Entrance Voucher” authorizing you to take part in the “hands-on” field day training which is required for final hunter education certification by the state. There is no charge for field day training. After you print out your voucher, go to Delaware’s Hunter Education Online Access to sign up for your “Field Day Training for Online Basic Hunter Ed Course.” You must print out your Field Day Entrance Voucher and bring it with you to the field training. Delaware law now requires all basic hunter education course participants to participate in a live firing experience with a trained instructor. Live firing of shotguns requires a liability release signed by students 18 or older or a notarized signature of parents / guardians of students under the age of 18. All students must have protective shooting glasses and hearing protection. Adult and youth firearms, targets and ammunition will be provided. For more information about the Delaware Hunter Education Program and scheduled courses, click here or call 302-735-3600.