Bow Hunter Education

(Photo courtesy of NYS DEC)

NYS Bow Hunter Education:

The NYS Bowhunter Education course is required for hunters who use a bow and arrow to hunt deer or bear. While this course is not required for hunting deer with a crossbow, or for using a bow and arrow to hunt small game or turkey, DEC encourages you to take this course to learn bow and tree stand safety techniques.

Additional Requirements: Hunter Education Course is required to hunt and to obtain a bowhunting privilege.

Register for an In-person, Instructor-Led NYS Bowhunter Education Course

You must register for in-person, instructor-led courses. Check back often as new courses are added each week. Most courses are offered between March and September.

All in-person courses are free.

*Do not wait until just before the hunting season to take a class. We hunt also.

All In-Person Bowhunter Education Courses require:

1. The completion of homework prior to attending an in-person course. Proof of completed homework must be brought to the in-person course. The homework can take several hours to complete.

2. Participation in an in-person course that is a minimum of 6 hours in length. These courses may be scheduled for one full day or split up into several shorter time frames over several days.

Register for an In-Person, Instructor-Led, Bowhunter Education Course

Register for a Bowhunter Education Course (leaves DEC website). You must attend the entire in-person instruction portion of the course on the date(s) and at the location indicated on the course schedule listing.

Homework and Study Materials

Choose one of the following ways to obtain the study materials and complete the required homework. You must bring the completed homework with you to an in-person course.

Note: If you completed the online bowhunter education course, you should bring your certificate to the in-person course as proof of completed homework. No additional homework is required.


Course Topics Covered

  • Aspects that make bowhunting challenging
  • Becoming a more successful bowhunter
  • Tree stand safety
  • Bowhunting techniques
  • Hunter ethics
  • Hunter responsibility toward wildlife, the environment, landowners and the general public

Age Restriction/Requirement

Students must be 11 years or older to take this course (Note: In New York State the minimum age to hunt is 12-years old).

For more information from DEC, go to: