New Online Option for Pennsylvania Hunter Education Explored

Traditional, instructor-led courses would remain unaltered.

Pennsylvania Hunter Education Online
Pennsylvania Hunter Education Online
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Pennsylvania Game Commission

Harrisburg, PA -( The state’s Hunter-Trapper Education courses soon could be available to complete online.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave preliminary approval to a measure that would allow for the development and implementation of a new Hunter-Trapper Education course to be offered wholly online. The traditional instructor-led Hunter-Trapper Education courses would continue unaltered if the measure gains final approval and the new course is developed.

As it is now, nearly 1,000 traditional Hunter-Trapper Education courses are taught each year in Pennsylvania by a dedicated team of volunteer instructors. Nearly a decade ago, the Game Commission also implemented an independent-study course, the majority of which can be completed online. Those enrolled in the independent-study course, however, must arrange to take the test in person after finishing their online study.

With the fully online course, students could start and finish the test at home. There could be a cost associated with the online course. Many states offer similar online hunter-education courses, and the vendors that develop and manage the courses typically charge a user fee to recover ongoing costs associated with the programs.

The measure approved by the Board of Commissioners directs that any vendor fees that could be incurred through an online program be assessed. A legislative mandate requires Hunter-Trapper Education courses be offered free of charge, and all traditional courses would continue to be offered free of charge, regardless of whether the online course receives final approval.

Hunter-Trapper Education is a requirement for first-time buyers of hunting or furtaker licenses in Pennsylvania. Those who pass the course must then buy a license to hunt or trap.

While many no doubt will continue to prefer the traditional Hunter-Trapper Education courses, the online courses will be more convenient for some and removes a barrier for students who might not be able to take a traditional class.

About the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC)

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is legally mandated to manage wildlife for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians, as well as all wildlife and the habitat that supports their existence. Pennsylvania’s Constitution and Game and Wildlife Code direct the Game Commission to protect, manage, and preserve wildlife and their habitat within the Commonwealth for the benefit of all people, including generations yet to come. Based on this direction, the Game Commission adopted the mission statement “to manage all wild birds, wild mammals, and their habitats for current and future generations.”