The Hunter Education Program offers a variety of classes, both basic and advanced. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, most hunter education classes are only available online.
Office of Hunter Education
6180 Hay Point Landing Road
Smyrna, DE 19977
The Basic Education Course is offered live at one of the DNREC Hunter Education classroom locations throughout the state. New hunters learn safety, ethics, firearm types, safe gun handling, marksmanship techniques, specialty hunting techniques, wildlife management, wildlife ID, survival, and more.
Delaware state law requires all basic hunter education students to participate in a live firing experience with a trained firearms instructor in order to successfully complete the course. State insurance rules require all participants in any course which includes live firing to sign a Release From Liability Waiver before taking part in live firing.
All live courses are free. Pre-registration is required.
Items needed for class:
Students must be at least 10 years old to be certified. Parent must accompany students under 12.
Note: Failure to send in the Liability Form could result in a student not being able to participate in the class.
Please call 302-735-3600 (Ext. 1) with any questions.
Complete your hunter education coursework online with a private vendor. Online 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.
To complete the course, participants must review a presentation of information about Delaware hunting laws and must complete an in-person field day.
New hunters learn safety, ethics, firearm types, Delaware laws and regulations, loading/unloading, safe handling and transportation of firearms, field skills involving blinds, boats and tree stands, zones of fire, obstacle crossing, operation of safeties, and shotgun live firing.
Upon successful completion of the course, the vendor will create a Certificate of Completion authorizing students to take part in the required two-hour hands-on field day training. There is no charge for field day training.
Delaware state law requires all basic hunter education students to participate in a live firing experience with a trained firearms instructor in order to successfully complete the course. In-person field days are listed on the Hunter Education Course Calendar.
State insurance rules require all participants in any course which includes live firing to sign a Release From Liability Waiver before taking part in live firing.
Students register for the field day training using the Digital DNREC Hunter Education system. They must print out their Field Day Entrance Voucher and bring it to the field training.
Items needed for field day training:
Students must be at least 10 years old to be certified. A parent must accompany students under 12.
Note: Failure to upload, or bring to the field day, a copy of the Release From Liability Waiver and the Certificate of Completion, could result in a student not being able to participate in the field day.
The Hunter Education offers advanced and specialized classes, when possible and appropriate given the needs of the state’s COVID-19 response. Several are also available online.
In addition to complying with other hunter education requirements, Delaware hunters must successfully complete a mandatory turkey hunting course before they can apply for a public land turkey hunting permit or legally hunt turkeys in Delaware. Classes are generally held in February or March in all three counties.
Hunters who successfully complete the course will have it added to their profile in the DNREC ePermitting system. They will need to reprint their Delaware hunting license so that it shows they have completed the mandatory turkey hunting course.
Hunters that have already successfully completed the course will no longer need to carry a card as proof of completion as long as their hunting license indicates they have completed the course.
Delaware also accepts the online turkey course from Today’s Hunter: todayshunter.com/turkey101/ (Certification Fee $29.99). Students who use this option must contact the Office of Hunter Education at email@example.com or 302-735-3600 x 1 to update their account to reflect course completion. Students will be required to submit a copy of their course completion certificate. Please include a phone number where the Hunter Education Office may call, in case there are any questions.
Trapper education is a mandatory prerequisite for purchasing a Delaware trapping license for all persons born on or after January 1, 1978. Class and Field work sessions include trapping history, heritage and ethics, furbearing animals of Delaware, trapping equipment, boating safety, hypothermia, practical water sets, hands-on instruction, how tides affect sets, proper skinning techniques, fur handling and how to market furs. Classes are generally held at the end of November.
To sign up, use the Digital DNREC Hunter Education system or call 302-735-3600 x 1.
Delaware also accepts two online trapper education courses found at TrapperEd.com (Illinois Basic Trapper Education Course and Kansas Furharvester Education Course – No fee). Students who use this option must contact the Office of Hunter Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-735-3600 x 1 to update their account to reflect course completion. Students will be required to submit a copy of their course completion certificate. Please include a phone number where the Hunter Education Office may call, in case there are any questions.
Hunting with a single-shot muzzleloader is challenging. Well-honed hunting and superior marksmanship skills are needed in order to effectively harvest game with a single shot. Moving quickly beyond the basics, this course provides information on precision sighting, range and marksmanship technique, trajectory and ballistics.
Stress will be on the latest trends in muzzleoader technology, updated safety information and explanation of new projectiles.
Though not a Delaware requirement, this special course is required in many other states and provinces for bowhunters. Participants in this course learn bowhunting methods, game trailing and recovery, field experience, bowhunting safety, reading game signs, safe use of tree stands, calling, field dressing, and more.
Youths under the age of 14 must attend with a responsible adult.
Delaware’s newest method of sport hunting specific for deer season now allows hunting of whitetail deer with certain handguns. This course offers hunting-oriented re-visitation of all essential fundamentals of handgun shooting and sighting in, information and techniques, equipment and safety.
Always a favorite, these courses (approximately 20-30 hours) provide youths between the ages of 12– 16 with exposure to the complete waterfowl experience.
Covered in the class is everything from waterfowl ID, biology, blind construction and safety, decoy use, duck calling, camouflage technique, boating safety, bird recovery, laws and regulations, language and tradition, firearms, ammo and equipment . The course includes basic hunter education and finishes with an actual mentored waterfowl hunt. Participants must be hunter education qualified prior to hunting.
Delaware hunters often hunt large game not only within but also outside of our state boundaries. This course concentrates on the hunting use of precision, deer-legal, scoped long guns and includes rifles, even though their use for hunting is permitted only outside of Delaware. Subjects covered include: shooting fundamentals, equipment, optics, ammunition, transportation of firearms internal, external and terminal ballistics, shot placement, missed shot analysis and safety considerations.