From the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
-- Oklahomans who want to go hunting this year can prepare by enrolling in a hunter education course this fall. Courses teach a range of topics including firearms safety, wildlife identification, wildlife conservation and management, survival, archery, muzzleloading and hunter responsibility, and are available as a standard eight-hour course or a home study course.
Find a full listing of available hunter education courses online at http://wildlifedepartment.com/. Visitors to the site can learn when and where classes will be held and, if pre-registration is required, a phone number is provided.
To hunt big game or small game alone, hunters ages 10-35 must be hunter education certified. Hunters age nine and under who are hunter education certified can hunt big game or small game alone except during youth deer gun and turkey seasons and on public lands, where additional regulations may apply. Hunters exempt from hunter education include those 36 years of age or older, those honorably discharged from or currently on duty the U.S. Armed Forces, and members of the National Guard.
For hunters who are exempt in Oklahoma but need hunter education to hunt in another state, a test-out option is available. Call (405) 522-4572 for details.
It is not uncommon for hunters who are exempt from hunter education in Oklahoma to make plans to hunt in another state that requires hunter education certification. Many hunters planning a trip to Colorado or Kansas don't learn they need hunter education until right before they leave or until they get out there. Hunters born after 1949 need hunter ed for Colorado, and for those born after 1957, it'll be required in Kansas.
Oklahomans who are not exempt from hunter education but who are not hunter education certified may be eligible to hunt with an apprentice-designated hunting license. For full details and license requirements, log on to wildlifedepartment.com or consult the current Oklahoma Hunting Guide.
Hunters who can hunt with an apprentice-designated hunting license are also encouraged to complete a hunter education course. Wildlife Department personnel say hunter education courses have not only reduced accidents within Oklahoma, but also in every state and Canadian province with similar programs. Over the past 30 years, hunting-related accidents and fatalities have declined by more than 70 percent in Oklahoma.
Hunter education courses are scheduled throughout the fall in a number of communities and are free to the public.