About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Hunter Ed Washington Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Certification Card.

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Two hunters safely loading their firearms
Notice how these two hunters are controlling the muzzle as they load their firearms.

Your instructor will show you how to load and unload different kinds of shotguns and rifles. Practice loading and unloading firearms in class with "dummy" ammunition and under the supervision of your course instructor.

  • Never practice loading and unloading with live ammunition! If you don't have "dummy" ammunition, don't practice! Dummy ammunition is available from sporting goods stores and gun shops.
  • Never handle any firearm if you are not familiar with it! Have someone who knows how show you, or read the owner's manual.
  • Never accept a firearm from anyone with the action closed! Follow this rule even when you are familiar with the gun! Operate the action several times to be sure the firearm is unloaded.
  • Use the safety! Don't bet your life on it — but be sure to use it.

Do not practice loading or unloading firearms at home even with dummy ammunition unless your parents or other responsible adults agree to supervise you. Be courteous! Never handle firearms without the owner's permission.

Never transport a loaded firearm in your vehicle. It is unsafe and against the law to place a loaded shotgun or rifle in or on a vehicle. Also, never lean a firearm against a vehicle or other insecure rest.