Bowhunter Education Program
Although this course is not required by Iowa law, it is required in a number of other states including South Dakota, Nebraska and Montana. The Department of Natural Resources encourages bowhunters to enroll in this course, especially first time hunters. The bow hunter program is designed to teach bowhunters safe and ethical hunting techniques and to install responsible attitudes toward people, wildlife and the environment.
The course is based on the National Bowhunter Education Foundation's publications and is administered by the Department of Natural Resources. The course covers topics such as responsibilities of a bowhunter, knowledge necessary before hunting, shot placement, tree stand safety, blood trailing, and game care.
Search our Statewise Online Database for a course in your area!
The Iowa DNR offers two ways of completing bow hunter education.
- One way is the traditional classroom bowhunter education course.
- The other way is the online bowhunter education course & field day. Please read through the information below to decide if the online version is right for you!
*If as a student, you require reasonable accommodations to participate in a classroom type education program, please advise the listed contact person at the time of pre-registration.
The Today's Bowhunter course is the official online bowhunter education course of the National Bowhunter Education Foundation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
The Today's Bowhunter online course includes topics such as conservation law, the 'unwritten law' of the bowhunter, facts on how an arrow harvests game, bowhunting safety, how to practice for bowhunting, lures, calls, scents, bowhunting methods, shot placement, and the responsibilities of being a bowhunter.
The online course is a two part process and is designed for students twelve years of age or older. The first part involves the student using a computer to complete the knowledge based portion of the course and is completed on your own time. This portion of the course is in conjunction with the National Bowhunter Education Foundation who charges a fee to students using their service. The second part is a Field Day offered free of charge by a certified Bowhunter Education Volunteer Instructor. Both portions are required in order for the student to gain certification. *Students are recommended to locate and register for a Bowhunter Field Day Course prior to completing the online knowledge portion of the course.
STUDENTS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO REGISTER FOR OR ATTEND A FIELD DAY CLASS UNLESS THEY HAVE COMPLETED THE ONLINE PORTION OF THE COURSE.
IMPORTANT - - - At a field day:
- Students must present to their instructor at the start of the Field Day (as evidence of completion), a hard copy of their Field Day Qualifier Certificate from the NBEF online course showing they have completed the course.
- They must successfully participate in practical testing and the demonstration of bow and arrow safety and hunting skills under the supervision of a certified instructor. This normally occurs outside, in actual hunting type areas and students should dress accordingly. Check with the instructors to see if they want you to bring bowhunting equipment to use during the field day.
To participate in the Online Bowhunter Education Course and complete the knowledge portion of the course, please visit www.bowhunter-ed.com/ia. Remember to bookmark or save the web address to ensure that you can return to the course if you are unable to complete it in one session.