In many states, program managers use their “apprentice” license option for their participants. This option allows new hunters (note that some states put age limits on these licenses) to purchase discounted licenses for their initial hunting experience(s).

In some states, this option is available for multiple years and/or multiple species.

Often, apprentice licenses also allow a new hunter to “defer” hunter education requirements for the timeframe that the apprentice license is valid. Utilizing this option allows instructors to spend more time on “how-to” aspects of the deer hunting program content, rather than focusing the time on the formal hunter education program requirements. However, deferring hunter education requirements for the short-term does require participants meet these requirements at a later time if they want to continue to hunt.

For additional information on license options see the National Shooting Sports Foundation 2007-Best Practices Workbook for Hunting and Shooting Recruitment and Retention and Appendix C of the National Hunting & Shooting Sports Action Plan (Second Content Draft).

Another option for including hunter education in you course is to utilize on-line courses.  See the Hunter education section for additional information on on-line courses.

Most programs encourage participants’ to use the states’ on-line license purchasing processes. These systems, if well designed, are important tools for tracking and evaluating long-term participation. However, in order to effectively track long-term participation, your state system needs to be able to assign a unique customer number to each participant. The system also needs to be periodically “scrubbed” to eliminate duplicate entries, and consolidate and keep a person’s license buying history in one location. See the National Hunting & Shooting Sports Action Plan (Second Content Draft) for more information on setting up a licensing system to provide optimum tracking data.

In a few situations, the program charges a fee, which includes the cost of a participants’ hunting license. In other situations, participants are encouraged to purchase a higher-cost license in lieu of charging a fee for the program.

Rarely are participants required to apply for a limited hunting permit or tag. However, in some situations applying for an unlimited permit is required. In these situations, the course should provide information on “how to apply for a permit” and includes the application process as part of the overall learning experience.