Michigan Hunter Education Process

With the Youth and Liberty deer hunts in the books already, archery season will be here before you know it. While many Michigan youth went afield last weekend, there are still many others who are excited about their first opportunity to join family or friends in the woods this fall. If you know a youth or adult who wants to become a new hunter this year, there are a couple of different ways to make that happen.

For anyone 10 years of age or older the first two years of the hunting experience can take place under an apprentice license. You do not have to take hunter safety to hunt with an apprentice license, but you must be hunting with another licensed hunter. For apprentices between ages 10-16, the accompanying hunter must be the apprentice’s parent, guardian or someone designated by the parent or guardian. The apprentice license is only valid for two years. After that, you must go through the hunter education program in Michigan.

While the apprentice license is a great tool, I would still highly recommend registering a new person for the state hunter education course. However, 2020, has made other plans and the traditional courses are not being offered as frequently or in their usual formats.

In Michigan, the successful completion of the Hunter Education course is required for anyone who wants to hunt who was born after January 1, 1960. The typical hunter education course consists of two to five sessions with a total class time of 10-12 hours, including a test and hands-on field day.

With the impact of Covid-19 here in Michigan, the DNR was forced to cancel and pause all hunter safety courses during the spring and summer. As of Mid-September, they are allowing the teaching of hunter safety in person once again.

However, with limited time, space and instructor capacity there will be fewer in-person classes available this fall than in previous years.

As a solution to the lack of available classes, the DNR has decided to temporarily waive the requirement of the hands-on field day until June of 2021. This means if you are unable to attend a traditional in-person class/field day you still have the opportunity to hunt in Michigan this fall.

To do this you must complete an online hunter education course. After completing the online course, you will receive a temporary certificate that allows you to purchase a hunting license that is valid until June of next year. This certificate will allow you to hunt this fall, but you must participate in the field day portion before its expiration next year to be considered a successful hunter education graduate.

For more information on the specifics of the temporary certificate, you can read the DNR press release linked below.


If you would like to complete the online portion of the course information can be found here: https://www.hunter-ed.com/michigan/

To find a hunter education in-person field day visit this link: https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/recnsearch/



  1. Tim Fifer on September 21, 2020 at 10:26 am

    My 10 year old grandson took his first deer Saturday Morning of the Youth Hunt and our 8 year old granddaughter took hers Sunday night. Both were does and of course the kids could not be more proud. They both use cross bows.

    • Shaun Mckeon on September 21, 2020 at 10:37 am

      Congrats to both of them, and you!

  2. Lily Peterson on May 2, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    I may not be able to hunt this fall because the nearest field day for hunters safety is 200+ miles away, as I live in a remote part of Michigan, do you have any idea on what I should do??

    • Shaun Mckeon on May 3, 2022 at 8:39 am

      Hi Lily,

      The best answer is to continue to keep an eye on the hunter’s education website as new classes are added throughout the year. So if currently there are no classes being offered in your area, there may be new classes added as the year rolls on. Usually, most classes are offered in August in preparation for the fall hunting season. So keep an eye out and local clubs in your area may post something later this summer.

      • Roni on December 6, 2022 at 7:29 pm

        My daughter completed field day in Roscommon and got her hunter safety certificate. We were told to go on the website after two weeks to get her certificate number. I cannot find it anywhere. Can you tell me which website to go to and where to find it on that site

        • Shaun Mckeon on December 7, 2022 at 8:42 am

          Hi Roni,

          Here are the instructions from the DNR
          Once the student is on the eLicense home page (https://www.mdnr-elicense.com), have them select “Purchase a License, Permit, and Application.” All students must have an eLicense account. Student will need to create an account if they do not have one. ID & Birthdate DOES NOT WORK unless they already have an account created. The student’s certificates will be located under the certificate tab. If the student need help finding their certificate in eLicense, they can use the form at the bottom of the certificate page to request help. All help requests for safety certificates must go through the certificate’s webpage.

          Certificate numbers are not a requirement in Michigan and are not used in Michigan; however, they are used and required by other states.

  3. Dan on September 15, 2023 at 7:57 pm

    Do they have any classes going December 2023-March 2024?

    • Shaun Mckeon on October 3, 2023 at 9:25 am

      HI Dan,

      That is usually a slower time for courses being offered, but there are typically a handful that get offered during that time. The best thing to do is keep an eye on the DNR website, every class throughout the state must get posted there, so as instructors line up their winter courses that is where they will post.


  4. Tyler Gregus on October 13, 2023 at 6:03 pm

    I took hunter safety course at approximate age of 13.
    I do not have my certificate from passing that course as it was lost in a house fire. Is there a way to get a copy of that or am I required to take the course again.
    Thank you for your assistance.

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