EL CENTRO — As the COVID-19 pandemic forced social distancing measures and distance learning throughout the nation, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has also temporarily modified the hunting license requirement process and the hunter safety course structure all together.
In a statement released by CDFW, all in-person Hunter Education Program classes have been canceled until further notice in response to COVID-19. Online-only hunter education certification is temporarily available at the CDFW website.
Previously, the hunter safety education course consisted of roughly a week’s worth of studying text, a walk around (mock hunt with instructors), and a final exam consisting of 100 questions where an 80 percent is required.
The current abbreviated online system means is there is still time to successfully complete the course before the 2020-2021 migratory upland game season begins Tuesday, September 1. In the previous system, limited certification courses due to spacing and registration issues created a smaller window for attaining a license.
After registering for the hunters safety course online and paying the $24 fee, students are given nine chapters units to study with a quiz at the end of each chapter.
Each chapter quiz is up to 15 questions and requires and 80 percent to pass and move along to the next chapter. If the student does not answer 80 percent of the quiz questions correctly, the quiz be must be retaken until passed with an 80 percent before moving on to the next chapter.
The certification covers an introduction to hunter education, knowing one’s firearm, basic shooting skills, basic hunting skills, primitive hunting equipment and techniques, being a safe hunter, being a responsible hunter and ethical hunter, preparation and survival skills, and understanding wildlife.
The course is timed, meaning each page is allotted between 30 seconds to 90 seconds before being able to advance to the next page.
Students can work at their own pace and can logout whenever they desire and then log back in to resume where they left off.
Once the course is successfully completed and all the unit quizzes passed with an 80 percent or better, the system provides a link to download the Hunter Education Certificate. The certificate can be printed out and is a permanent certificate that allows one to legally obtain a hunting license or permit where required.