Bowhunter Education

students drawing a bowstring with guidance from an instructor

The NYS Bowhunter Education course is required for hunters who use a bow and arrow to hunt deer or bear. While this course is not required for hunting deer with a crossbow, or for using a bow and arrow to hunt small game or turkey, DEC encourages you to take this course to learn bow and tree stand safety techniques.

Additional Requirements: Hunter Education Course is required to hunt and to obtain a bowhunting privilege.

Register for an In-person, Instructor-Led NYS Bowhunter Education Course

You must register for in-person, instructor-led courses. Check back often as new courses are added each week. Most courses are offered between March and September.

*Do not wait until just before the hunting season to take a class. In-person courses fill quickly, so it is important to sign up early.

All In-Person Bowhunter Education Courses require:

1. The completion of homework prior to attending an in-person course. Proof of completed homework must be brought to the in-person course. The homework can take several hours to complete.

2. Participation in an in-person course that is a minimum of 6 hours in length. These courses may be scheduled for one full day or split up into several shorter time frames over several days.

Register for an In-Person, Instructor-Led, Bowhunter Education Course

Register for a Bowhunter Education Course (leaves Escarpment Arms website). You must attend the entire in-person instruction portion of the course on the date(s) and at the location indicated on the course schedule listing.

Homework and Study Materials

Choose one of the following ways to obtain the study materials and complete the required homework. You must bring the completed homework with you to an in-person course.

Note: If you completed the online bowhunter education course, you should bring your certificate to the in-person course as proof of completed homework. No additional homework is required.

Download /Print
*Requires a printer and Adobe Reader Free Software
Hard Copy
*Requires travel or time to mail
Follow the link below to download a PDF of the Today’s Bowhunter Manual.
You must print and complete the Bowhunter Education Homework Worksheet.

Today’s Bowhunter Manual and print and complete the Bowhunter Education Homework Worksheet
(link leaves Escarpment Arms’s website).

You must bring the completed homework worksheet to your in-person course.

The Today’s Bowhunter Manual and Bowhunter Education Homework Worksheet can be picked
up at most DEC Wildlife offices or may be available for pick up at other locations as
specified in the instructions given when you register for a course.

Due to COVID, most DEC offices are closed to the public. Call the office if you need to pick up course materials.

Find a DEC Wildlife Office near you.

You can also request a hard copy be mailed to you by calling 1-888-486-8332.

You must bring the completed homework worksheet to your in-person course.

General Course Details and Requirements

Course Topics Covered

  • Aspects that make bowhunting challenging
  • Becoming a more successful bowhunter
  • Tree stand safety
  • Bowhunting techniques
  • Hunter ethics
  • Hunter responsibility toward wildlife, the environment, landowners and the general public

Age Restriction/Requirement

Students must be 11 years or older to take this course (Note: In New York State the minimum age to hunt is 12-years old).

Course Length, Dates & Times: Minimum of 6 hours.

April 1, 2023 9AM-5PM

June 3, 2023 9AM-5PM

August 5, 2023 9AM-5PM

September 1, 2023 9AM-5PM

Bowhunter Education Certificate

Students must complete required homework, attend all sessions of the course, demonstrate proper attitude and safety, and pass a final exam of 40 questions. After successful completion of the course, students will receive a Bowhunter Education Certificate of Qualification, which is required in addition to a hunting license or hunter education certificate for purchasing a first-time bowhunting privilege in New York State.


All information is directly from the NYS DEC Website