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In-person training returns to hunter education program

In News, State by OC Monitor Staff

Photo courtesy of KDFWR.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is returning to hunter education program in-person classroom courses and firearms range training.

The department halted in-person training in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, people could take coursework online and submit a video of themselves exhibiting the safe handling of firearms or archery equipment. A safe handling demonstration is the final step toward fulfilling Kentucky’s hunter education requirements.

“Submission of adult-supervised range day videos was a temporary solution established in response to the coronavirus outbreak,” said Gabe Jenkins, director of the department’s Information and Education Division. “Now that we again have the ability to host in-person courses, the department is excited to return to working directly with our future hunters.”

The department is now offering in-person training at select range locations around the state. Hunters may continue submitting range videos that meet certification requirements through midnight, May 1.

Hunter education is required for hunters born in 1975 or later. It is not required for license-exempt hunters or those born in 1974 or before.

Hunters must complete the classroom portion of the hunter education program prior to attending a range day.

The classroom requirement for hunter education certification is offered in-person by the department or online through the National Rifle Association at no cost. Participants can view and register for available classroom courses and range opportunities online at

For those unable to complete all the requirements before the start of spring hunting seasons, the department also offers a free, 1-year hunter education exemption permit. This allows the permit holder to hunt for one year with direct supervision by an adult mentor who is hunter-education certified or exempted by age. The permit is nonrenewable and expires 12 months after issuance. Regulations for hunting licenses and permits still apply.

View available courses, full requirements and contact information online at

This year, Kentucky’s youth-only spring turkey season is April 2–3, and the general statewide season runs April 16 – May 8.