Wildlife Sport Fish & Restoration
Southwest Region
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Hunter Education



Photo Credit: USFWS

Each year approximately 750,000 students across America participate in hunter education classes. The classes provide instruction in firearm operations and safety, wildlife management, nature conservation, ethics, game laws, outdoor survival and wilderness first aid. The goals are to teach students to be safe, responsible, conservation-minded hunters. Forty-eight states require a hunter education course to purchase a hunting license. The courses are taught primarily by volunteer instructors, who number 45,000 nationwide and contribute approximately $30 million annually in volunteer services.

In addition to the Hunter Education program, state agencies also provide the public with safe shooting sports and archery facilities. To accommodate this hands-on experience, each state has developed programs, based on individual state needs, that use Wildlife Restoration grant funds for the development and operations of public archery and shooting range facilities.


In 1970 the Wildlife Restoration Act was amended to include funding for hunter training programs and public shooting ranges. Funding for hunter education and shooting ranges is derived from one-half of the 11 percent excise tax on archery equipment and 10 percent excise tax on handguns, pistols, and revolvers. The other one-half of the tax money is used by the state for wildlife restoration purposes. (More on funding.)


Wildlife Restoration Funding:  $62 million
National Average Annual
No. of Volunteer Instructors:  45,000
Economic Value of Volunteer Services:  $30 million

For general information contact:

Andrew Ortiz
Grant Manager
505-248-7459 / fax: 505-248-7471
email: Andrew Ortiz@fws.gov

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program
P.O. Box 1306
Albuquerque, NM 87103-1306

Hunter Education Program

Related Sites and Organizations

leaveArizona Game and Fish Department - Hunter Education
leaveNew Mexico Department of Game and Fish - Hunter Education
leaveOklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation – Hunter Education
leaveTexas Parks and Wildlife Department – Hunter Education
leaveTeaming with Wildlife
leaveInternational Hunter Education Association
leaveHunter Safety
leaveProject Wild

Contact the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.

Last updated: July 5, 2016