July 1, 2024

PHOENIX — A policy implemented by the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) that allowed students to defer from scheduling the in-person field day requirement of the Hunter Education program expired June 30. 

To better serve the needs of its students, AZGFD will offer a choice between two additional courses in August. This will allow students to fully complete their certification online should they decide not to choose a classroom course, or the online curriculum paired with an in-person field day. 

If a resident student has taken the online course during the deferral period, they will have until Dec. 31, 2024, to complete an in-person or virtual field day before their certificate expires. Those resident students who have taken the online course during the deferral period will be able to virtually complete their Hunter Education certification for no additional cost.

Any individual 9 or older may complete a Hunter Education course offered through AZGFD. To hunt big game in Arizona, youth under 14 must complete Hunter Education. Hunter Education is not required for anyone 14 and older to hunt in Arizona.

AZGFD will post an announcement on its website and social media channels when the new online courses become available. 

In the meantime, students may take Hunter Education through a traditional classroom setting or hybrid format. Both formats require a hands-on field day and exam. The classroom courses are typically offered during weekends and weeknights throughout the state. The classroom courses average 16 hours of in-person instruction, and the field days average four hours.

All courses and field days are administered by volunteer instructors. The volunteers typically schedule classes and field days based on their availability, and the courses are posted two to four weeks prior to the event start date. Field days are conducted at a local shooting range. At this time, a limited number of field days and bonus-point field tests are available.    

All classes and field days are posted at, and registration must be completed online. The website is updated on Tuesdays with new course and field day opportunities. 

The purpose of Hunter Education is about more than safety. It’s also about developing  responsible, knowledgeable, and involved hunters who understand the importance of complying with hunting laws and behaving ethically. 

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