Oklahoma resident hunters who are exempt from the state’s hunter education requirements may not be exempt in other states in which they plan to hunt this year. For them, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation offers a proficiency test that would allow them to bypass the eight-hour course.
Exemptions from Oklahoma’s hunter education requirements include anyone 31 years of age or older, anyone honorably discharged from or currently on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, and members of the National Guard.
“If you are exempt from hunter education requirements in Oklahoma and you are not hunter education certified, you should check other states’ requirements before planning an out-of-state hunting trip,” said Lance Meek, hunter education coordinator for the Wildlife Department. “You might find they have different requirements than Oklahoma.”
“The proficiency test involves taking and passing the actual hunter education test at one of our offices or completing the online course quizzes through wildlifedepartment.com,” Meek said. “This is a quick and easy process for people who qualify.”
According to Meek, hunters exempt from hunter education requirements who want to take the proficiency test should contact the Wildlife Department’s headquarters at (405) 521-4636 or Jenks office at (918) 299-2334.
“This is a great service we can provide for Oklahoma hunters who are exempt from hunter education but who want to hunt out-of-state,” Meek said.
To hunt in Oklahoma, those not exempt from hunter education requirements must either complete the Wildlife Department’s hunter education course or hunt with a mentor under an apprentice-designated hunting license. The apprentice-designated hunting license is available to hunters ages 8-30 and allows them to go hunting without first completing a hunter education course, provided that they are accompanied by a licensed adult mentor who is at least 18 years old and hunter education certified (or exempt from license and hunter education requirements). All hunters under the age of 10, whether hunter education certified or not, must be accompanied when hunting big game.
Oklahoma’s hunter education certification is valid in all 50 states and Canadian provinces.
For more information about hunting in Oklahoma, log on to the Wildlife Department’s website at wildlifedepartment.com.