Hunter education necessary, helpful information | Sports

Hunters new to the game must pass a class before being allowed to buy a license, but the opportunities to take that class are handy and varied. A number of chances to do so are offered in every county each fall. Some require a full day on site. Others are geared toward students who’ve already knocked out the majority of required instruction time online in advance.

Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1972, must complete a hunter education course before buying a license in Mississippi, anyone 16 or older must have a license to hunt, and anyone 12 to 15 must have a hunter education certificate to hunt alone, so the course is a necessity.

Most states require those buying licenses to have a hunter education card, non-residents included. Mississippi’s hunter education card is accepted in other states, many of which set their date of birth requirement somewhat earlier than Mississippi’s. Missouri requires such certification for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1967. Colorado requires it of anyone born after Jan. 1, 1949.

The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks offers the course free of charge at locations across the state in 10-hour sessions that include range firing. The 10-hour in-person requirement can be reduced to roughly three, however, through an online course available on demand and at each student’s convenience. The online course’s fee of $28.95 is payable only when a student passes, after which they sign up for the remaining in- person portion of the course.

The online course is interactive, can be studied at any pace and includes 14 videos that feature a combination of professional actors, storylines and up-to-day scenarios. They cover topics such as treestand and ground blind hunting safety, firearms safety, effectiveness of blaze orange and more.

To learn more about Mississippi’s online hunter education course, visit The site is compatible with tablets and smart phones as well as traditional computers. The company providing this service also does boating, bowhunting, off-roading and snowmobiling safety courses online as well. Learn more about them at

To find dates and registration information for the traditional course and for courses to complete online study, visit

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