A new, online-only Hunter-Trapper Education course is available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
The course, which can be completed online in about six to eight hours, is available to students ages 16 and older. Students can use any computer, smartphone, tablet or e-reader to take the course, providing flexibility to take it anywhere at any time, said Andy Hueser, a hunter-education specialist for the Game Commission.
“People live increasingly busy lives these days,” Hueser said. “In recent years we’ve upped the number of traditional, classroom courses we offer and have offered many more courses at peak times in the fall when more people are thinking about hunting and hunter education, and record numbers of new hunters have become certified as a result.
“But demand still exists, and some folks simply can’t make the time to attend a traditional course,” Hueser said. “For them, this new, online option removes a hurdle that might have previously stood in the way of their obtaining a hunting license.”
The curriculum for the online course is identical to that taught in the traditional classroom course. Topics such as tree-stand safety, lawful trapping of furbearers, firearms safety, Lyme-disease prevention, state game lands regulations, and other programs all are covered.
Students move through the material a page at a time, making their way through 11 units. They must spend a certain amount of time on each page to make sure they’re not glossing over the material. There’s a quiz at the end of each unit, which must be passed before moving on to the next. And a test covering all material in the course is completed at the end.
After passing the test, a temporary certification card can be printed, and a license purchased immediately.
The online course is available through Kalkomey, a Texas-based company that specializes in hunter education and has been an important partner in the Game Commission’s programs for years.
There is a fee, currently set at $19.50, for the online course, which is wholly retained by Kalkomey to offset their costs of providing the course.
The course can be taken through Kalkomey’s website, http://www.hunter-ed.com
Hueser said a full slate of traditional, classroom Hunter-Trapper Education courses will continue to be offered statewide in Pennsylvania to meet what has been a growing demand for this in-person option, and those courses will continue to be free of charge.
“We expect most students, as well as the parents of young hunters, will continue to prefer the traditional courses,” Hueser said. “They like the opportunity to interact with an instructor and to see safe hunting and trapping practices demonstrated right before their eyes.
“We will continue to work to offer as many of these courses as we can to keep up with the very high demand for them,” Hueser said. “At the same time, though, this new option is going to be a better fit for some, and we’re happy to provide it, so they can get their license and the information they need to be safe before they get out there and hunt.”