Many Texas hunters are either unaware or very unclear on Texas hunting laws, specifically where hunter education certification is required. The information below from Texas Parks and Wildlife should help clear up the confusion. It is the responsibility of every hunter afield to know these laws and have the proper documentation with you in the field. Our Texas game wardens will surely know the laws and will not take the "I didn't know excuse" as a way of getting out of a citation.
Every hunter (including out-of-state hunters) born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, must successfully complete a Hunter Education Training Course. Minimum age of certification is 9 years of age.
If you were born on or after September 2, 1971 and you are:
- under 9 years of age, you must be accompanied.
- age 9 through 16, you must successfully complete a hunter education course, or you must be accompanied.
- age 17 and over, you must successfully complete a hunter education course; or purchase a “Hunter Education Deferral” and you must be accompanied.
Please note that some federally controlled areas require all hunters using that site to have hunter education certification. In Texas, this includes Corps of Engineers property and most military reservations. Be sure to check with the specific area prior to going hunting.
Hunter Education Deferral (cost: $10) Allows a person 17 years of age or older who has not completed a hunter education program to defer completion for up to one year. A deferral may only be obtained once and is only valid until the end of the current license year. A person who has been convicted or has received deferred adjudication for violation of the mandatory hunter education requirement is prohibited from applying for a deferral. Take the course by August 31 of the current license year and receive a $5 discount. The one-time Hunter Education Deferral is available at license vendors and went into effect September 1, 2004.
Accompanied means: By a person who is at least 17, who is licensed to hunt in Texas, who has passed hunter education or is exempt (born before Sept. 2, 1971), and you must be within normal voice control.
Proof of certification or deferral is required to be on your person while hunting. Note: Certification is not required to purchase a hunting license