Hunter and Bowhunter Education Program

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.

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 (NMDGF) is in need of Hunter and Bowhunter Education Instructors statewide to teach student classes, assist with hunter education camps and other NMDGF outreach events. If you are interested in giving back, click here.

New Online Option

New Mexico Game & Fish online Hunter Education Manual from

There is now an online hunter education option. This course will be done entirely online. The online hunter education course certification will be recognized in all 50 states. The online course option is for New Mexico residents 11 years of age or older ONLY. Online students are required to pay $19.50 through an approved, outside provider. Online students must pass all chapter quizzes and the final exam to earn their New Mexico hunter education number. Click here to visit

The New Mexico Hunter Education program will still be offering in-person student courses for those who do not qualify for the online course and those who would prefer to take the in-person course. See our course schedule for upcoming dates.

Online After School Program

Grant Application – Online Hunter Education After School Program (click for PDF).

The department will provide funding to schools for the purpose of advancing the provisions of the Hunter Training Act. Grants will pay teacher stipends for teacher training, planning, preparation and facilitation of the online hunter education course as an after school program. The program is designed as an online course facilitated by teachers, faculty or individuals sponsored by the school that will be trained and certified by the department. The grant program operates on a reimbursement basis only. The department intends to award funds and enter into agreements with all schools that meet the grant funding criteria.

The department will begin accepting grant proposals for the facilitation of the Online Hunter Education After School Program starting Monday, August 29, 2016. Respondents to this request must utilize the appropriate Grant Application Form (see the provided link above) issued by the department.

Hunter Education Camps

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 11 to 18 who are accompanied by a responsible adult. It will be conducted the weekend of March 31 – April 2 at historic Camp Washington Ranch near Carlsbad. Lodging and meals are free and all equipment is provided. The camp is currently FULL, but we are still taking registrations for the camp waitlist. (The registration form is available below for download). Participants must complete and return the registration form by 5 p.m., March 8, to be eligible. Registration is NOT conducted through the CIN system for this camp. Slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hunter Education Camp Registration Form 2017 Washington Ranch

The department is hosting the camp in partnership with New Mexico Youth Conservation Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Safari Club International Foundation.

Participants will learn safe and responsible firearms handling, ethical hunting behaviors, conservation, wildlife identification and basic survival skills. Participants will test their marksmanship skills with .22 rifles and archery on a range under the supervision of certified hunter education instructors and department staff. A fishing skills clinic will also be included with no license required.

To qualify for the camp, youths must have a Customer Identification Number account with the department and complete the required homework before attending. Students can start their homework anytime by downloading a free pdf version of the manual at, . 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, 505-222-4731or

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:

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

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.(

Hunter Education Number

To obtain a copy of your New Mexico hunter education number, log into your New Mexico Online License System account and print your Customer Id Number card. Your Hunter Education number will appear under your Customer Id Number on the card.

If you have trouble printing your card or accessing your account, please contact the Hunter Education Office via email or call (505) 222-4731

Have Questions?

Please contact a member of  the Hunter Education Program Staff.

Anita Padilla
Office Manager
Phone: (505) 222-4731
Megan Otero
Assistant Coordinator
Phone: (505) 222-4733
Jennifer Morgan
Phone: (505) 222-4722


Click Here to email the Hunter Education Program.