California Hunting Laws and Regulations
Who is required to complete hunter education in California?
According to California law, first-time hunters or hunters who do not have a hunting license issued from another state or province within the past two years must complete hunter education certification in order to hunt in California.
Is completion of the California state agency-approved course required in order to buy a license?
Yes. In order to buy a license, California requires that all first-time hunters must complete a course approved by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and IHEA-USA.
Hunting education is currently required in several U.S. states and Canadian provinces.
All U.S. states, provinces, and countries that have mandatory hunter education requirements will accept the California Hunter Education Certificate. Likewise, California will accept Hunter Education certifications that are issued by other jurisdictions that meet official IHEA-USA requirements. (This is known as “reciprocity.”)
What Makes a Course Approved?
To be approved by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, a course must teach hunters to become:
- Safe (by following all hunting safety rules)
- Responsible (about hunting, wildlife, conservation, and hunting laws)
- Knowledgeable (by knowing and demonstrating acceptable behavior and attitudes while hunting)
- Involved (in joining and participating in hunting and conservation organizations)
Meets IHEA-USA Standards
This California Hunter Ed online hunting education course was developed in accordance with the standards set forth by IHEA-USA and meets the requirements of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife hunter safety mandate.
About the Standards
In 1999 the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA-USA) adopted a set of performance guidelines for basic hunter education courses. These standards have been used internationally by hunter education administrators to evaluate minimum core content in hunter education courses. Industry partners, including the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Hunter Ed, have used the revised standards to develop new student manuals and alternative delivery methods for hunter education.
Our Commitment to Hunter Education
Hunter Ed is committed to making sure California hunter education students learn the skills and information needed to have a safe, successful, and fun hunt. We strive to ensure this California online hunter safety course helps you become a more knowledgeable and ethical hunter. Educated hunters play an important role in making California a leader in conservation and wildlife management.
We accomplish that goal by working with California Department of Fish and Wildlife and IHEA-USA to produce a course that’s accurate, interesting, and easy to understand.
As a new hunter, you can be proud of your contributions to wildlife conservation and your role as a steward of our natural resources.
Need help? Here are the answers to the questions California Hunting students most frequently ask.California Frequently Asked Questions