Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1975 must first successfully complete a Certified Hunter Education course before purchasing a base hunting license. (Chapter §20-2-30a(a) WV Code) When purchasing a hunting license, the person must present a certificate of completion to the agent issuing the license. 

The first hunter education class taught in West Virginia was in 1968. It consisted of a short talk and a movie. In 1971, West Virginia won the National Rifle Association award for outstanding contributions to the field of hunter education. Today the course takes an average of 12 hours to complete. Over 400,000 students have passed the course since it began. This could not have been accomplished without the help of over 200 trained volunteer instructors who donate hundreds of hours and drive thousands of miles each year.

To find and register for a hunter education class, visit

The traditional hunter education course is offered for free, and topics include gun safety, wildlife management, ethics, survival/first aid, game identification, and how to hunt safely and ethically. You will enjoy listening to volunteer instructors and natural resources police officers pass on their expertise and hunting experiences, talking with your fellow hunters during class breaks, and getting familiar with the total hunting experience. Extra help is available for those who may need it. Students who have not reached their 10th birthday by the written test date of the class will not receive a permanent hunter education certification.  Students can locate and register for the free traditional hunter education class at

Anyone 10 years old or older, may opt to take an approved online hunter education course. During the online course you will periodically take quizzes, and print a practical exam voucher. Once all quizzes are complete, bring this voucher with you to the hands-on / written exam portion. After completing the online portion, students must register at to complete the hunter education requirement for the hands-on / written exam. The hunter education card will be issued after successfully completing the hands-on / written exam. The online option with hands-on / written is a two-step process.

Lost or Misplaced your Hunter Education Card?

If you have lost or misplaced your hunter education card, contact your local WVDNR Law Enforcement Office, pick up an application for a duplicate card, complete it, and mail it along with a $10 check or money order to one of the addresses listed on the application. Click this link to obtain an Application for Lost Hunter Education Card in a printable PDF file format. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.) If there is no record of your completion of the hunter education class, the $10 will be returned to you.

The Ten Commandments of Gun Safety

  1. Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
  2. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
  3. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
  4. Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions.
  5. Unload firearms when not in use.
  6. Never point a firearm at anything you do not want to shoot.
  7. Never climb a fence or tree or jump a ditch with a loaded firearm.
  8. Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or water.
  9. Store firearms and ammunition separately.
  10. Avoid alcoholic beverages and other mind-altering drugs before and during shooting.

Hunter Education Staff

Capt. Warren E. GoodsonCharleston HQ304 558-2784
Sgt. James CrawleyFarmington304 825-6787
Sgt. Michael SpanglerFrench Creek 304-924-6211
Sgt. Michael LottRomney304 822-3551
Sgt. Bob JohnsonBeckley304 256-6945
Sgt. Roger Jennings Jr.Forks of Coal 304-756-1023
Sgt. Charles StephensParkersburg 304 420-4550

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