Since Hunter Education became mandatory for 12 to 15-year-olds and first-time hunters in 1988, there has been a 25% reduction in the rate of hunting-related shooting incidents. While hunting is safe in comparison to other common sports, each injury can cause extreme physical and emotional pain for the victim, the shooter, and their families. Hunter Education courses are designed to teach hunting safety, principles of conservation, and sportsmanship.
A dedicated cadre of more than 900 trianed volunteer instructors work with 160 Conservation Police Officers to train 13,000 students each year. A program milestone was reached in 2007 when Hunter Education in Virginia exceeded half-a-million graduates of the course. For a list of future Hunter Education Courses, visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website.