Hunter Education provides an educational opportunity that enables students to safely participate in a hunting or shooting sport.  Hunter education and its corps of volunteer instructors strive to produce safe, ethical and responsible students who will be tomorrow’s hunters and shooters.

Hunter and Bowhunter Education

No one under 18 years of age may hunt with a firearm without first possessing a certificate proving that he/she has passed this, or another state’s hunter education course or is currently enrolled in the New Mexico Mentored-Youth (MY) Hunting Program. Uncertified juveniles may shoot firearms if under adult supervision or in a supervised program.

It is also unlawful for anyone under 18 to apply for, or buy, any type of firearms hunting license before passing a hunter education course unless the youth is registered in the New Mexico MY Hunting Program. Youth hunters must have proof of passing a state certified Hunter Education course and/or have a current MY number in their possession while hunting.

Bowhunter education is not mandatory for archery hunts, but is highly recommended.

The Department of Game and Fish is always seeking individuals statewide to become certified Hunter and Bowhunter Education Instructors to teach student classes, assist with hunter education camps and other department outreach events. If you are interested in giving back, click here.

Hunter Education Certification

Once a student has successfully passed either an instructor-led or an online course, the hunter education certification is recognized in all 50 states, Canadian provinces, and Mexico.

Hunter Education Cards/Numbers
Hard copy hunter education cards are no longer mailed out to graduating students. Upon successful completion of a hunter/bowhunter education course, students will need to reprint their CIN card. The student will see an additional line with the hunter ed number listed below their name. Once the hunter ed number is listed on the CIN card, it becomes the student’s Hunter Education card/proof and is what they need to carry with them while hunting. If the hunter ed number does not appear on the CIN card after the successful completion of a New Mexico hunter education course, please contact the Hunter Education Office at (505) 222-4731 or email

Have Questions?

Please contact a member of the Hunter Education Staff.

Roselyn Washington
Office Administrator
Phone: (505) 222-4731
Stephanie Walton-Filipczak
Assistant Coordinator
Phone: (505) 222-4733
Jennifer Morgan
Phone: (505) 222-4722

Click Here to email the Hunter Education Staff.

Online Hunter Education Course Options

Hunters 10 years of age and older have the option of earning their New Mexico hunter education certification completely online. Courses are entirely online and the certification is recognized in all 50 states. All online course options are provided through a department-approved, outside vendor. Online students are required to pass all chapter quizzes and a final exam to earn their New Mexico hunter education number.

Fees may differ based on the individual course provider. Carefully read and understand the terms, before completing the course you select. Please choose an online course from the choices of independent vendors listed below.

The Department remains committed to our customers. However, as a result of COVID-19, technology systems and customer support response times from our online course providers may be delayed. Your continued patience is appreciated.

The NRA online hunter education course is free and available to hunters 10 years of age and over.


Third Party Disclaimer: The online hunter education links are provided for the convenience of our customers. The information, content, and materials contained on these independently owned websites are solely the responsibility of the provider of that website, including those relating to confidentiality, data privacy, and security.

Hunter Education Camps

Registration is Closed for the May 5-7 Hunter Education Camp in Queen, NM (south of Carlsbad). Be on the lookout for additional camp postings soon!

To qualify for hunter education camps, all participants must have a Customer Identification Number with the department and complete the required homework before attending. Students can start their homework at any time by downloading a free pdf version of the manual and worksheet at, For more information, please contact the Hunter Education Office, 505-222-4731 or email

More Hunting & Outdoor Skills

Registration is OPEN for the May 20 Bowhunter Skills Camp to be hosted at Manzano Mountain State Park in Mountainair, NM. Click here to register!

Registration Details:
  • All registrants must have a department Customer Id Number (CIN). Don’t have one? Click here.
  • An adult must register with youth under 18 years of age.
  • No equipment is required, but if you have your own equipment it is encouraged to bring it.
  • Additional camp information will be sent upon registration.

Additional Online Hunting & Outdoor Skills

Tips on Preparing for a Hunt

Before going on a hunt, you should make sure you are well prepared. A successful hunt begins with careful planning and preparation. The process often requires more time than the hunt itself.

Prepare a hunting plan in case you or someone in your group becomes lost, sick, or injured. Leave the plan with a family member or friend so that searchers will know where to find you. Do not deviate, or stray, from the hunting plan without notifying others.

Below is a Hunt Plan form you can use for your next scouting or hunting trip.

Hunter Ethics Activity

Ethics help protect the hunter’s privilege to hunt. They generally govern behavior that affects the public opinion of hunters. Ethical behavior makes sure that hunters are welcome and hunting areas stay open.

Aldo Leopold, known as the father of wildlife management, best described the idea of ethical behavior. He said, “Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching—even when doing the wrong
thing is legal.”

Print off the following Hunting Ethics Scenario activity and use the situations listed to test you, your family, and friend’s ethical and responsible decision skills while hunting. This activity can be done with any size group.

Shot Placement Activity

Ethical and proper shot placement is a must for any hunter. Here are the deer, elk, and bear shot placement pages that go along with the Hunter Education Shot Placement activity segment posted to the department’s Facebook page. Print off each animal, have someone tape them together for you (have the printed sides facing out), then use a sharpened pencil to “shoot” where you think the vitals lay (heart, lungs, and liver) on each animal.

Virtual Hunting Scenarios

Test your hunter ethics and responsibility through this interactive shoot/don’t shoot activity that focuses on the importance of waiting for an animal to give you the best angle for proper shot placement. Click Shoot/Don’t Shoot to get started!

Shoot or Don't Shoot Instructional Hunter Education Interactive Game - Kalkomey / NMDGF

Hunters Connect

Hunting, shooting, and outdoor skills through Hunters Connect

Learn more about hunting, shooting, and outdoor skills through Hunters Connect, sponsored by the International Hunter Education Association – USA.

Turkey Hunting 101 Online Course

The National Wild Turkey Federation and Kalkomey Enterprises, LLC have partnered to create the NWTF Turkey Hunting 101 course, the first-ever wild turkey hunting online tutorial. The NWTF Turkey Hunting 101 course is designed to teach future turkey hunters everything they need to safely and successfully hunt America’s greatest game bird – the wild turkey.

The NWTF Turkey Hunting 101 course includes six chapters and dozens of topics covering the remarkable history of the wild turkey, the birds’ characteristics and behavior, wild turkey sounds, hunting preparation, gear and tactics, shot placement, cooking tips and recipes, plus much more. Topics are supported with text, photographs, graphics and videos from veteran turkey hunters in an engaging and educational format. This course does not provide a hunter education certification.

Deer Hunting 101 Online Course

Whether you are new to deer hunting or are a seasoned deer hunter stuck in a rut and want to freshen up your skills, there is a new ground-breaking online resource available to you. Kalkomey Enterprises LLC is offering the Today’s Hunter Deer 101 online course that covers deer biology and behavior, hunting methods, shot placement, field care of venison and much more. The course is easy, the self-paced lessons are engaging and the course saves your progress wherever you left off. Topics are supported with text, photographs, graphics, and videos to make information easy to learn and retain.

The user-pay course is available to anyone who wants to learn more about deer hunting at During the off-season, it is a perfect time to hone your skills for this upcoming fall! This course does not provide a hunter education certification.

About Our Courses

Courses are available year-round and statewide and all course types will certify students in hunter education. All course registration for instructor-led courses is conducted online through the student’s NMDGF Customer Identification Number (CIN) account. It is recommended to enroll in the first available course in your area. Courses before the draw deadlines and hunting seasons fill quickly. Bowhunter Education courses will not certify a student to hunt with a firearm.

To view a current course listing, please click here for Course Schedule. Additional courses in your area may be scheduled throughout the year so be sure to check the Course Schedule frequently for updates.

Course Types

There are several types of course options to obtain your education certification. All instructor-led courses require students to complete a homework requirement prior to course attendance. The homework is free and can be found on the Course Schedule tab. To view course specifics you MUST be logged into your New Mexico Online License System account.

Traditional Hunter Education – is an instructor-led student course approximately 14-16 hours in length. This traditional style course is for students of any age that incorporates lecture, video, hands-on, and review methods to educate students. Students who are 10 years of age and younger must have a parent/guardian/responsible adult attend the course with them. This is a perfect course option for individuals who are new to hunting and firearms.

Field Day Hunter Education – is an accelerated instructor-led hunter education course approximately six (6) hours in length. This course is for students 10 years of age and older only and incorporates less lecture and review and adds more hands-on components. This course is an excellent option for Mentor-Youth Hunters or for individuals who have some hunting and firearms knowledge. Students who are 10 years of age must have a parent/guardian/responsible adult attend the course with them.

Live Fire – any instructor-led hunter education course may have an additional live-fire portion. If a course has a live-fire component students will have the opportunity to practice their marksmanship and shooting fundamentals under the direct instruction of certified instructors and department staff on a range.

Once registered in an instructor-led course, students must attend all class sessions, pass a written exam and will be tested on their ability to safely handle firearms to earn their hunter education certification. Classes often spend two or more hours outdoors. Please be sure the student is dressed accordingly.

Be sure to check out the Course Schedule tab in the Courses and How-To-Register section for upcoming, statewide hunter education course dates. Questions: contact the Hunter Education Office at (505) 222-4731, email, or contact any of the Department’s satellite offices.