Information on hunter education regarding frequently asked questions:

There is no minimum age to attend the class or become certified. The class is taught at a sixth grade level and students must demonstrate safe firearms handling skills and pass a written test.

To hunt in this state, a person must produce a hunter safety certificate or hunting license issued to them.

Person under the age of 16, who have obtained a hunter safety certificate and who are exempt from the hunting license requirement, may hunt under the provisions of G.S. 113-276 (d) (1) and (2) which require that they:

  • Are accompanied by a responsible adult who is in compliance with applicable license requirements; or
  • Are carrying a current and valid hunting license that has been issued to one of their parents or to their guardian.

Persons under the age of 16 (who are exempt from hunting license requirements) will still need to get their Big Game Harvest Report Card in order to be in compliance with those requirements. They can obtain these, free of charge, from license agents. They are not to use the Big Game Harvest Report Card issued to their parent, guardian or accompanying adult.

Hunter orange requirements

Any person hunting bear, wild boar, rabbit, squirrel, grouse, pheasant and quail with the use of firearms must wear a cap or hat made of hunter-orange material or an outer garment of hunter orange visible from all sides. Anyone hunting deer during a deer firearms season, regardless of weapon, must wear hunter orange.


Other commonly asked questions


Q. What companies give discounts and how can we get them?
A. Many companies offer our instructors discounts, but they are usually only for a limited time. All new discounts are posted in the latest newsletter. Please check our archived newsletters for possible discounts.


Q. What do I do if I have lost my card?
A. Contact your district Hunter Education Specialist to get another copy made.


Q. What is my liability as a Hunter Education Instructor?
A. If you follow established procedures set by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, you are covered by the state of North Carolina just as an employee would be.


Q. How do I sign-up for a hunter education course (in-person or virtual)?
A. For a phone call:
Visit our website at ncwildife.org and click on the tab ‘Hunting.’ Then select 
‘Hunter Education.’ Select link for Instructor-led Courses, this will take you another site. You will be able to search by your zip code for classes in your area. 

For an email:
To search for in-person or virtual course, visit this page and search by your zip code for a course near year. If you are looking for a virtual course, do not search by zip code. All virtual courses will be listed as a location of WRC Virtual Classroom.


Q. What is this difference between the virtual hunter education course and the online hunter education course?
A. The virtual hunter education course is conducted over multiple days for a total of 6 hours. The course is conducting using MS Teams by a hunter education instructor. The participant must attend all 6 hours and must meet the device and internet requirements. 

The online hunter education course is a self-paced course recognized by NCWRC. There is a fee attached to the course that is collected by vendor. Those course options can be found here.


Q. I have a lifetime license; do I need to have hunter education?
A. Anyone who obtained a license prior to July 1, 2013 including lifetime youth and infant licenses are exempt from the Hunter Education requirement once they are 16. The law can be confusing because it exempts the hunter education requirement when purchasing a lifetime license but specifies in the law that those individuals must obtain their hunter education certification before utilizing the hunting portion of their license. However, that only applies to those individuals who purchased or obtained a lifetime license on or after July 1, 2013.” 

However, it is extremely important that when we communicate this information, we always include the disclaimer that the Commission strongly recommends that everyone obtains a hunter education certification before hunting. 


Q. When and how will I receive my hunter education certification card?
A. For in-person and virtual courses: 
You will receive your card by mail from our Raleigh office between 7 and 14 days after the course is completed. If you need a card sooner, you will need to let your instructor know. 

For online courses: 
While the field day requirement is being waived, when you complete the online course you will be able to print off a temporary certification card from the vendor website. This is a valid card and can be used to purchase your license.  You will receive a card from the Raleigh office by mail later.


Q. Is my Hunter Education Certificate accepted elsewhere? (reciprocity)
A. All U.S. states, provinces, and countries that have mandatory hunter education requirements will accept the North Carolina Hunter Education Certificate. Likewise, North Carolina will accept Hunter Education certifications that are issued by other jurisdictions that meet official IHEA-USA requirements.


Q. Do I have to renew my Hunter Education Certificate?
A. No- your hunter education certification is good for life, however, you will need to maintain proof of certification in case records of course completion is lost or destroyed. 

If you completed Hunter Education prior to August 2011, records are not complete, and you may have to re-take the course if we cannot find a record or contact the instructor for confirmation. 

How to look up a Hunter Edu Cert: EM > “Choose Program” > “Registrations” > Ask for participants legal name > Confirm DOB > click on participant > Confirm information listed > “Download Certificate”


Q. What is the minimum age to take the Hunter Education course?
A. There is no minimum age requirement to take the course, however, the course is written at a 12-year-old reading and comprehension level.


Q. Who needs Hunter Education?
A. North Carolina requires hunter education certification for all persons who have not formerly held a NC hunting license prior to July 1, 2013; or who have not purchased a license with the Hunting Heritage Permit. 


Q. What is the Hunting Heritage Permit?
This permit is needed to purchase a hunting license by those who have not held a N.C. hunting license prior to July 1, 2013 or who have not satisfactorily completed the hunter education course requirements. This permit authorizes the permittee to hunt if accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age who is licensed to hunt in this state, or if accompanied by an adult landholder or spouse exempted from the hunting license requirement as defined by law, provided the licensee is hunting on the landholder’s land. “Accompanied” means that the licensed adult maintains a proximity that enables the adult to monitor the activities of the apprentice by remaining within sight and hearing distance at all times, without use of electronic devices. This permit is valid only for the term of the hunting license purchased under the authority of the permit. This permit is free. 


Q. Are there any military or law enforcement exemptions for Hunter Education Certification?
A. No, there are no exemptions. The reason is that hunter education encompasses a whole lot more than firearm safety. It is important that all hunters learn sportsmanship, conservation, about different methods (archery, muzzle-loading, etc.) of hunting, and basic hunting regulations.


Q. Can you confirm I registered for an upcoming Hunter Ed class correctly?
A. EM > “Registrations” > Ask for name of registrant > If listed, they are registered correctly > You can email them another confirmation by “checking” the box by their name > “Email”.

I’m interested in becoming a Hunter Edu Instructor.