KFW Announces Return of In-Person Training to Hunter Education Program

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The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is returning to in-person classroom classes and firearms training for its hunter education program after the agency temporarily moved to online classes in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the pandemic, people could take online courses and submit a video of themselves demonstrating the safe handling of firearms and archery equipment. Officials say a safe handling demonstration is the final step toward meeting Kentucky’s hunter education requirement.

According to state fish and wildlife officials, the department is now offering in-person training at select range locations across the state. Hunters can continue to submit range videos that meet certification requirements until midnight, May 1.

Hunter training is compulsory for hunters born in 1975 or later. It is not required for license-exempt hunters or those born in 1974 or earlier.

Hunters must complete the classroom portion of the Hunter Education Program prior to attending a day of shooting.

Officials say class gear for hunter certification is offered in person by the department or online through the National Rifle Association at no cost. Participants can view and register for available classroom courses and online range opportunities at fw.ky.gov.

For those who cannot meet all of the requirements before the spring hunting seasons begin, officials say the department also offers a free one-year Hunter Education Exemption License. This allows the holder to hunt for one year under the direct supervision of an adult mentor who holds a hunter education certificate or is age-exempt. Officials note that the permit is not renewable and expires 12 months after issuance. Hunting regulations and licenses and permits still apply.

This year, Kentucky’s youth-only spring turkey season runs from April 2-3, and the general statewide season runs from April 16-May 8.

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