Most Montana hunters would probably agree that there's nothing like the actual experience.

A new regulation will go into effect, in an effort to go where virtual learning can't completely go. At least as far as some of our young Montana hunters are concerned.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has announced that starting January 1, hunter and bowhunter education students age 12 to 17 who take the online course will also be required to pass an in-person field day. Students in that age group must pass both the online exam and the field day to earn a course completion certificate.


According to Montana FWP, for hunter education, the in-person field day will require students to practice and demonstrate key safety skills related to firearm handling, the four main rules of firearm safety, and the PROVE procedure, which stands for “Point, Remove, Observe, Verify, and Examine.”


Students will need to demonstrate how to safely cross a fence with a firearm, hand off a firearm, and remove a firearm from a vehicle. There will also be discussion session about hunting ethics and landowner relations.

In-person field days for bowhunter education will feature similar hands-on safety practice and demonstrations.


Students who are 12 to 17 and are currently in progress with the online courses must complete their coursework before January 1. Otherwise, those students will also be required to complete an in-person field day.

FWP points out that, "Instructor-led in-person courses are an excellent way to provide new hunters with a hands-on learning experience and can be particularly beneficial for people who have minimal experience in the field or handling firearms. These courses are taught by dedicated volunteer instructors, often from local communities."

To find out more about course requirements and how to go about getting signed up, visit the FWP's "Hunt" page of their website here.

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