BOISE - New hunters in Idaho interested in getting their Hunter Education certification can do so online without participating in a “field day” for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021.

Traditionally, students who took the online Hunter Education course were required to attend a field day to get certified, but that requirement has been temporarily waived to allow people 9 years or older to pass the online course only and be immediately eligible to buy a hunting license. The online course costs $24.50 and can be taken at https://www.hunter-ed.com/idaho/.

Due to COVID 19 concerns, Fish and Game officials are working on protocols to initiate instructor-led hunter education courses in a classroom in early 2021, in addition to the online course.

“We don’t want to interrupt or delay people’s ability to get their hunter education certification,” said Brenda Beckley, Hunter Education Manager.

The safety of students, instructors and staff is a priority, and the online course provides a safe alternative to classrooms. While many states have allowed online hunter education certification, Idaho has traditionally required the field day in order to teach Idaho-specific topics, such as local regulations, animal identification, as well as hands-on training for gun-safety skills.

Beckley recognizes the value of the online classes, but also the benefits of new hunters learning from experienced hunters.

“Despite waiving the field day requirement, we still encourage students to seek out an experienced hunter to serve as a mentor to reinforce firearm handling, and how to hunt safely,” Beckley said.