Hunting Guides & Blog

« View All

How to Get a Hunting License

April 10, 2019 How to Guides, Dove, Duck, Elk, Mule Deer, Predator, Quail, Turkey, Whitetail Deer, Michigan, New York, Texas, Bow, Muzzleloader, Pistol, Rifles, Shotguns

How to Get a Hunting License

How to Get a Hunting License

For those thinking of getting their first hunting license, or for those who thought they already knew how, here is a review of what it takes and why we do it.

From the Captain Obvious department: A hunting license or fishing license is required—one way or the other—by the state or province in which you which to enjoy the outdoors to their fullest extent. Whether you are looking for a big game, small game, or even a migratory bird hunting license, you will have to be a certain age to begin.

Along the way we will show you how several states begin the process from start to finish, and then discuss why these states want you to do a little bit of work to get them!

Since our natural resources are of the utmost importance—along with harvest information programs and conservation techniques—having active duty wildlife management law enforcement officials in the field at all times means having the all-important license fees that come along with them.

Since these fees, in most cases, go directly to keeping conservation officers in the field, it goes without saying that license sales are of the utmost importance. For youth hunting, a hunter safety or hunter education program is the beginning of a beautiful relationship with the outdoor world and the start for many young people down the road of conservation.

Education requirements usually come in the form of hunting regulations, license application methods, and license types. You’ll need a valid social security number, or in the case of Canadians, a social insurance number or SIN for first-time hunters.

For the rest of us, who have been hunting and fishing for more than a few years, this all may seem more than a little evident, but it bears review! The issue is that we as the hunting community need as many new hunters and outdoorsmen and women as we can get. So, it behooves the outdoor veterans of North America to keep abreast of the how and why when it comes to getting new hunters involved.

Whether you’re going big game hunting, or just in line to try some spring turkey hunting fun, you’ll need some kind of hunting permit to do it. We’ll go through a few states for you so that you can see what some go through to get a hunting license, just to give you an idea of what it takes, even if you’ve been hunting for a lifetime.


Texas hunting license requirements are as such as any state: the only constant is change. The entity to know well is the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. In the Lone Star State, “Every hunter (including out-of-state hunters) born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, must successfully complete a hunter education training course.”

The minimum age for hunter certification is nine-years-old. If a prospective hunter is under that age, he or she must be accompanied by a person that is at least 17-years-old that has passed the hunter safety program and holds a valid license with one interesting stipulation: you “must be within normal voice control.”

As with many states, in Texas “active duty members and honorably discharged veterans of the United States armed forces,” Texas army, state, or air national guard members, including people serving or having previously served as a peace officer need not have to pass a hunter education course if they are first-time hunters.

New York

Students of the hunt must be at least 11-years-old to take and complete the New York hunter education course. Beginning hunters in the Empire State must be a minimum of 12-years-old to actually go on a legal hunt. Youth hunters between the ages of 11-16 must have a signed permission slip from their parent or guardian to be allowed to handle and shoot a firearm during the instruction of the course.

A new hunter can register for the course online, but there are no “online only” courses to be had. One of the biggest stipulations of getting through the course: all prospective hunters must first complete a homework process before ever attending the in-person instruction session.

Any new hunter can do this by downloading the hunter manual and completing the worksheet for free, or take and complete an online homework course, but there is a $15 fee.


For those hunters ready, willing, and able that would like to tread into the middle of the beauty that is Michigan—that have never done so—they must first prove their worth before the Department of Natural Resources. Simply stated, “You need (hunter) education if you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1960, and will buy a hunting license in Michigan.”

First, a person must study and pass an online course—costing $28.95—and after passing must then attend the “Field Day” to complete the hunting safety certification. This entire process is made supremely easy buy offering hunter education across a wide variety of your devices including a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or an actual desktop computer start to finish!

This is obviously not so different than other states in that a course must be taken in order to qualify for the right to hunt these lands. The point is that humans have been a part of the hunt since the dawn of humanity, plying our passion with primitive weapons and learning to chase our food down correctly or go hungry, even die!

In this new day and age since the turn of the century with the incredible upgrades to firearms, ammunition, and especially bows and arrows, it is paramount that we get things right to make sure that our favorite game is always there for future generations. Our forefathers would have never dreamed that it would be required to purchase a “hunting license” to do what always came naturally to them, but even they must have realized that without common hunter education, coinciding with the supremely advanced tools that we now have at our disposal, the animals were being overmatched.

How to actually get or receive a hunting license is more about making sure that all hunters are on the same page metaphorically speaking. Since most states only require that a hunter take these beginners courses once in a lifetime—and keep a detailed record of it—we tend to take it for granted that it will always be there ready for us.

Getting a hunting license should be considered a privilege as much as a right. What comes with a completed hunter education course is more than just a hunting license, it’s a training in the way we look at nature and a valued instruction into reason why the hunt is so important, not only to humans, but the very nature that we take from.

And a resounding lesson in why we need to be lifelong conservationists.