Hunt Iowa, Iowa Hunter Education Program
Iowa Hunter Education Program

The goals of the DNR Hunter Education Program are as follows:

  • Educate Iowans about hunter safety
  • Promote hunter education and ethics
  • Train volunteer instructors to teach hunter education
  • Continue to keep hunting the safe activity it has become

By providing hunter education to the public, the DNR will help ensure the safety of hunters throughout our state by continuing to promote ethics and fair chase, hunter responsibility and landowner relations. The safety, recruitment, and retention of hunters are important in continuing the tradition of hunting in Iowa's GREAT Outdoors!

Hunter education is a mandatory program that is designed to introduce students to several life-long skills that are important to the many different types of outdoor recreational opportunities. The course teaches students basic survival and first aid skills, water safety, wildlife identification, and the basics of wildlife management, hunting laws, and firearm/archery safety. Hunter education also stresses the importance of individual responsibility and outdoor ethics.

Iowa law requires that anyone born after January 1, 1972 must be certified in hunter education before they are eligible to purchase an Iowa hunting license. The minimum number of hours to complete the class is 10. Typically there is no charge for the course, unless lunch is furnished or room rental is required. Iowa recognizes hunter education certificates issued by another state and some foreign nations.

A person who is 11 years old or older may enroll in a course, but those who are 11 and successfully complete the course shall be issued a certificate which becomes valid on that person's 12th birthday. Iowa residents under the age of 12 can be issued a deer or turkey license; however, a licensed adult hunter must accompany each youth hunter. If the certificate is lost, a replacement certificate may be obtained from any ELSI vendor during regular business hours for $4.50.

Classes are typically held from March 1 - November 15 each year. Our courses are taught by volunteer instructors who are hunters so there are very few classes that take place after November 15. 

Hunter Education - Register Now

How to Obtain an Iowa Hunter Education Certificate
+ Option 1: Classroom Instruction + Field Day
+ Option 2: Online Course + Field Day
+ Option 3: Adult Online Only Hunter Ed Course
+ Option 4: Dual Hunter Ed & Handgun Safety Course

Safe Hunting in Iowa

Bowhunter Education
The bowhunter program is designed to teach bowhunters safe and ethical hunting techniques and to install responsible attitudes toward people, wildlife and the environment. 

Hunter Education Instructors
Interested in becoming a Volunteer Hunter Education Instructor?

Mentored Hunts
Find an upcoming mentored hunt in your backyard.

Effectiveness of Blaze Orange

This short video provides tips about how wearing blaze orange can keep you safe in the field, provided by

2018 Hunting Incidents
Personal Injuries 0
Property Damage 0
Fatalities 0

Total Incidents 0

Last Updated: 1/2/2018

4 Basic Rules

Following these simple four firearms safety rules will prevent most hunting related incidents.

Need a duplicate certificate?

Purchase your hunting license or duplicate Hunter Education Certificate Online.

Don't have internet access?
You can also visit any one of our ELSI vendors (anywhere that sells hunting or fishing licenses) in Iowa and purchase a duplicate Hunter Education Certificate.

New Customer?
If you have not purchased a hunting license before and need to obtain a duplicate certificate contact:

DNR Customer Service
Mon-Fri, 8:00AM - 4:30PM