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Texas To Implement First-Ever Hunter Education Deferral
AUSTIN, Texas — Taking a practical and innovative step in making hunting more accessible, especially to adults new to the activity, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved a new plan that would defer hunter education certification requirements for as much as one year under certain circumstances.
The deferral, which takes effect Sept. 1, allows an individual, 17 years of age or older, a one-time extension to complete the state’s hunter education requirements. The individual must purchase a hunting license and must be accompanied by a person 17 years of age or older who is also licensed to hunt in Texas. The accompanying individual must have completed hunter education or be exempt from the requirements (born before Sept. 2, 1971). The extension is good until the end of that license period, by which time the person with the deferral should have completed a hunter education course.
The deferral costs $10 and may be offered one-time only. The new hunter also receives a $5 discount off the price of a hunter education course, which costs $10, but only if the course is taken prior to the end of the current license year.
The deferral will also be available to out-of-state hunters, as well as those in the military who are stationed in Texas or who are home on leave.
Texas certifies more than 33,000 hunters annually through 4,400 hunter education courses offered across the state, with at least one offered in each of the 254 counties. Hunter Education courses are a minimum of 10 hours of classroom and hands-on activities. The classroom objectives can alternatively be taken through home study or online, followed by a hands-on, outdoors session taught by volunteer instructors.
"Although we offer the course throughout the year, there are times during the holidays when only a select number of courses may be available and that’s typically the time of year when most people have an opportunity to go hunting," said Terry Erwin, TPWD hunter education coordinator. "This temporary deferral will give folks time to enroll at a later date and still take advantage of an opportunity to go hunting."
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