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Bowhunter Education

Bowhunter Education Program

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 bowhunter 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.

The Iowa DNR offers two ways of completing bow hunter education.

  • One way is the traditional classroom bowhunter education course.

    Bowhunter education classroom courses are held annually, typically in August and September. 
    *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 per-registration.


    Search our Statewide Online Database for a course in your area!

  • The other way is the new adult online bowhunter education course.

    The Iowa online-only bowhunter safety course covers all the information you'll need to know to receive your bowhunter education certificate, with no field day required. The entire course can be taken on a smartphone, tablet or computer. Using interactive animations and realistic illustrations, the course covers:

    Start Here:

    • How to safely hunt from tree stands
    • How to judge distances
    • Which arrows and points to select
    • Correct shot placement, and more

    This official Iowa-approved online bowhunter education course makes learning fun and easy. Upon completing the course students can print their official Iowa bowhunter education certificate. Start studying today.

Release Your Wild

We're proud to be partners with the Archery Trade Association in a new campaign to motivate young people to try archery and bowhunting for the first time. Check out Release Your Wild and help spread the word!