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Ohio requires youth and adult hunters to successfully complete a hunter education course in order to be fully licensed. The course is available in both a classroom and an online version, although the final session for both versions of the course, which includes a written test, must be completed in a classroom.
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website, "There is no age limit in Ohio as to when a child can start hunting." However, all children ages 15 or younger must be accompanied by a licensed adult while hunting. The licensed adult hunter must stay close enough to the youth hunter to maintain uninterrupted, unaided visual and auditory contact at all times.
Length of Study
The instructor-led course lasts eight to 12 hours. Students who take the online course can work at their own pace. The final training and proficiency test, which all students take in the classroom, lasts three to four hours. Each lesson includes a quiz, and students must present completed copies of all review quizzes when they attend the final session.
Course content covers types of firearms and how to use them correctly, safety practices, wildlife management, dressing game and regulations. The material is designed to be appropriate for all ages. A sample test is available at the ODNR website so prospective students can get a clear idea of the type of questions that they will need to answer in order to succeed. Instructors recommend that students complete a single chapter at a time and answer all the questions on the review sheet before moving on to the next chapter.
The home study version of the hunter education course is available as a single .pdf file that the student can download, or as individual chapters. Students need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available at the site, to view and print the files. Classroom instruction and final sessions for online students are available in all of Ohio's 88 counties. The Ohio hunter's safety course is free.
Apprentice Hunting License
People who want to give youngsters an introduction to hunting before they complete a hunter education course can do so. Ohio offers an apprentice hunting license. The apprentice license is intended to remove barriers to passing along hunting skills and heritage from generation to generation. Apprentice hunters of any age must be accompanied by a licensed hunter 21 years of age or older, who must maintain unaided, uninterrupted visual and auditory contact with the apprentice at all times. The apprentice license allows adult mentors to introduce youth to hunting and determine a young person's levels of interest and readiness before beginning a hunter education program.
- boy hunter image by Katrina Miller from Fotolia.com