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 the 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 successful completion of a New Mexico hunter education course, please contact the Hunter Education Office at (505) 222-4731 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Phone: (505) 222-4731
Phone: (505) 222-4733
Phone: (505) 222-4722
Click Here to email the Hunter Education Staff.
Please pick an online course from the choices of independent vendors below. Fees differ, based on individual vendor pricing. Carefully read and understand the terms, prior to completing and paying for the course you select.
The department will continue to offer in-person hunter education courses for those who do not qualify for the online course or for those who would prefer to take an in-person, instructor-led course. See our course schedule for upcoming dates.
Virtual Hunting Scenarios
Test your hunter ethics and responsibility through this interactive shoot/don’t shoot “game”. This activity focuses on the importance of waiting for an animal to give you the best angle for proper shot placement.
Click to open in a new browser window: https://www.hunter-ed.com/shoot-or-dont-shoot.html.
Flash player software is required to view the video. We recommend Adobe’s free Flash Player software. To download this program for free, visit the Adobe website.(https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/)
About Our Courses
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.
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.
Hunter Education – is an instructor-led student course approximately 14-16 hours in length. This traditional style of 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.
Field Day Hunter Education – is an accelerated instructor-led hunter education course approximately six (6) hours in length. This course 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. 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. If the student fails the course, they will need register and take the entire course again.
The department will continue to offer instructor-led, in-person student courses for students who do not qualify for the online course and for those who would prefer to take the in-person course. See the Course Schedule tab for upcoming, statewide hunter education course dates. Questions: contact the Hunter Education Office at (505) 222-4731, email email@example.com , or contact any of the Department’s satellite offices.
Hunter Education Camps
Cancelled. Washington Ranch Hunter Education Camp: The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is offering a special hunter education camp where youths can receive hands-on training and earn their hunter education certification.
The camp is open to youths ages 10 to 17 who have not yet passed hunter education. Students must be accompanied by a registered, responsible adult. It will be conducted the weekend of October 12-14, 2018 (cancelled) at Washington Ranch south of Carlsbad. Lodging and meals are free and all equipment is provided. Youth, along with their accompanying adult, must complete and return separate registration forms to be eligible for this opportunity. Slots will be filled on a first-come basis. Registration for this camp is now closed.
Participants will learn safe and responsible firearms handling, ethical hunting behaviors, conservation, wildlife identification and basic survival skills. Participants also can test their marksmanship skills with .22 rifles and bows and arrows on a range under the supervision of department Conservation Officers and staff. A fishing activity is also included!
To qualify for hunter education camps, youth and adults must have a Customer Identification Number account 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 worksheets at, https://www.hunter-ed.com/newmexico/manual/.
To hunt legally in New Mexico, youth under 18 years of age must first successfully complete a hunter education course or be registered in the department’s Mentored-Youth Hunting Program.
For more information please contact the Hunter Education Office, 505-222-4731 or firstname.lastname@example.org.