All first-time hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1960 are required to take and pass a hunter safety course. You will not be able to purchase a base license (other than an apprentice license) unless you can prove successful completion of a hunter safety course.
Hunter education courses teach new hunters responsibility, ethics, firearm safety, wildlife conservation and wildlife identification, game care, survival and first aid. Courses are offered year-round throughout the state, though the majority occur in the spring in April and May, and in the fall during August, September, and October. The typical hunter education course consists of two to five sessions with a total class time of 10-12 hours.
Get your hunter safety certificate in a classroom-based course (plus field day class):
Traditional classroom hunter education classes are typically held in outdoor clubs, schools, police stations, and camps. A workbook home study alternative may be available in your area, but you must also register for a field day class BEFORE taking the home study course. Search for a class in your area and arrange your field day with the instructor. The instructor will let you know if the workbook home study is available. The cost of the course could be up to $10.00 to cover field supplies. The instructor will tell you the cost when you register for the course.
Visit the DNR’s Recreational Safety Education Class Database and select the class type (Hunter) and county in the drop-down lists.
Get your hunter safety certificate online (plus field day class):
You may also choose to take the class online. After taking an online course, you are required to attend the skills/field day portion of a regular class and take the student examination in order to receive your hunter safety certificate. You will need to pre-register for the skills/field portion of a regular class BEFORE taking the online course. Upon passing the online course, you will be eligible to complete the skills/field portion and take the written examination without attending a classroom course. There are fees associated with the online course and field day portion of the training.
Take the approved hunter safety course online at www.hunter-ed.com/Michigan
Hunter Safety Videos
- Keep the safety of your firearm on until you are prepared to take your shot.
- Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
- Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times.
- Be aware of your surroundings – know your target and what is beyond it.
- Put your finger on the trigger only when you are ready to shoot.
- Don’t use your scope as binoculars – only point your firearm at something you intend to shoot.
- Unload the firearm when crossing obstacles and/or getting in or out of a tree stand.
- Check the barrel and ammunition to ensure they are clear from any obstructions and use the proper ammunition.
- Do not drink alcohol or use any mind-altering substances when hunting – including marijuana and/or medications.
- Firearms in the home should be unloaded and securely stored separate from the ammunition.
- When transporting firearms in vehicles make sure that they are unloaded and in a case.
- Using your hands and feet, maintain three points of contact at all times when ascending or descending into a tree stand.
- Always use a full body harness that is attached to a secure fall line positioned above your head.
- When lifting your firearm or crossbow into a tree stand, use a secure pull system (such as a rope) and make sure it is unloaded and the safety is on. Do not attach anything to the trigger guard.
- Refrain from using screw-in steps on tree stands that are located on public land.
- Ensure your tree stand is securely attached and stable prior to using it.
Tree stand resources:
Hunter orange & tresspassing
- Obey no trespassing signs – they are there for a reason.
- If your game goes onto property marked as “no trespassing,” you must have the landowner’s permission to retrieve your game.
- The DNR recommends that you wear as much hunter orange as possible to increase your visibility – orange and other colors do not impact deer’s behavior.
- Hunter orange should be worn as the outermost layer of clothing and must be visible from all directions. Options include:
- Rain coat
- Hunter orange garments (including camouflage) must be at least 50 percent hunter orange to meet the legal requirements.
- If you are recreating outdoors near hunting areas, wear hunter orange so you can be seen by hunters.