North American Waterfowl Management Plan

Waterfowl Program biologists coordinate all aspects of the NAWMP for LDWF. This is an international wetlands/waterfowl restoration plan that uses partnerships with other government agencies, private landowners, and corporations to generate non-department funding sources to restore, protect, purchase and enhance wetland habitat on public and private lands in Louisiana and nationwide. Some of the activities under the NAWMP include the following:

DU MARSH and Duck Stamp Programs

Program personnel coordinate DU's MARSH (Matching Aid to Restore State Habitat). This is a reimbursement program that provides funding annually for development and restoration of wetland habitat on LDWF WMAs and Refuges. From 1985-2002 more than $1.5 million in grants were expended from the MARSH account on 18 WMAs and Refuges. They assist with the state duck stamp program which generates $500,000 annually for wetlands work and acquisition within the state. They also develop wetland project proposals in conjunction with regional Wildlife Division and DU biologists and engineers.

Wetlands Reserve Program and Louisiana Waterfowl Project

A waterfowl biologist serves as Department representative on the NRCS Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) Technical Subcommittee. The WRP is a feature of the 1995 Farm Bill. It was initially geared toward reforestation of previously cleared and farmed wetlands. Today, restoration of hydrology is an extremely important aspect of the program. Over 200,000 acres in Louisiana have been scheduled for reforestation to bottomland hardwoods and/or hydrology restored to date. Wildlife Division regional biologists developed projects on 2 WMAs that resulted in LDWF receiving more than $500,000 through the WRP during the past 3 years. The WRP Subcommittee is responsible for developing habitat criteria and ranking criteria for proposals in Louisiana.

The Louisiana Waterfowl Project is conducted in cooperation with DU, the NRCS, oil and pipeline companies and private landowners. Water control structures are designed from used gas pipelines. Technical assistance and wetland management plans are provided to the private sector to create seasonal wetlands that benefit a wide range of wildlife. Currently, 35,000 acres of wetlands are enrolled in 10 to 15 year agreements in 20 parishes under this program. As a result of observed benefits, other local landowners in some areas are developing their own projects. A waterfowl biologist also represents the Department on the Louisiana Waterfowl Project Committee.

North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA)

Program personnel develop and evaluate grant applications to this federal program to obtain grant funds to be used for wetlands acquisition and development projects on public lands. NAWCA grants require at least a $1 in non-federal matching funds for each $1 of grant funds requested. This is a major mechanism for generating conservation partnerships vital to the success of the NAWMP. In recent years, LDWF has partnered with NAWCA, DU, NRCS, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Monsanto Corporation, Exxon, local conservation organizations, the Walker Foundation, White Lake Foundation, and Richard King Mellon Foundation to acquire wetland habitats of value to waterfowl and other wetland birds as well as implement projects on 6 WMAs.

Louisiana has 2 active joint ventures of the NAWMP: the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture (LMV) and the Gulf Coast Joint Venture (GC). Each joint venture has different goals and habitat issues that are addressed by NAWCA projects. Most of these restoration projects in the LMV involve a combination of reforestation to bottomland hardwoods and water control capabilities that permit precise water level management for wintering waterfowl. Once projects are completed specific management plans are developed to maintain wetland management units at maximum production. Program personnel work extensively with regional Wildlife Division biologists and specialists in implementing and evaluating wetland management practices on WMAs. The GC, on the other hand, is dominated by coastal marshes, prairies, and agricultural land, so projects focus on reducing salinity or wave energy to enhance submerged aquatic vegetation, re-establishing water-control to manage marshes for better production of seed-producing annuals, or creating capabilities to flood/manage agricultural areas for making winter food available for waterfowl.

Wood Duck Program

Research in wetland forests has indicated that suitable nesting cavities for wood ducks are very limited. Current timber management practices in the southeast U.S. dictate that cavity densities will increase only slowly, if at all. Consequently, populations of wood ducks in the southeast, including Louisiana, may be limited by the number of suitable nesting cavities.

The Waterfowl Program initiated a wood duck box program in 1990 and currently manages over 2,750 nesting boxes. Boxes are mounted on pipe, donated by oil companies, with sheet metal predator guards and installed primarily on LDWF WMAs and also on select private wetlands, state parks and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers properties. Boxes are placed in or proximal to wetlands with good brood habitat in an effort to increase survival rates of young.

Waterfowl Program personnel work with a network of 25 LDWF biologists and specialists that check boxes at least twice/year to monitor annual production. Data from nesting boxes are computerized and summary reports developed. This program is increasing local breeding populations of wood ducks and increasing use of our WMAs by wood ducks. Hooded merganser nesting in boxes is also increasing on some WMAs. Program personnel conduct interagency wood duck workshops in conjunction with federal and state wildlife personnel to provide updated information and techniques to program participants. Personnel also work with university staff to facilitate wood duck research projects.

Wood duck population monitoring is difficult due to the bird's use of densely vegetated habitats. Banding is the primary tool for sampling wood duck populations and provides important information for management. Banding data, when combined with population and harvest data, also provide vital information on the life history, population status and ecology of wood ducks. LDWF typically bands nesting hens while checking nesting boxes, and all captured birds during the pre-hunting season period (July-August). The number of wood ducks banded each year, but over 1,700 have been banded the past 2 years, and Louisiana has banded more wood ducks since 1990 than any other southeastern state.

The preseason banding program is directed toward "local" wood ducks to obtain management information specific to wood ducks from Louisiana and the southern part of the flyway, including the recovery distribution, recovery rates, and survival rates. These data, along with reproduction data help to assess the affect of harvest on wood duck populations.


Habitat Assessment

Locating suitable release sites for wild turkeys is important to the success of Louisiana’s restocking program. Over the years, LDWF received many requests from landowners and sportsmen to stock wild turkeys. LDWF continues to get 5-10 requests annually. It has been LDWF's policy for many years that restocking requests be evaluated by a Region biologist and/or Turkey Study Leader prior to being approved. Criteria used in the evaluation are the presence or absence of wild turkeys, distance from presently occupied turkey range to request area, amount of suitable habitat at the release site, support by local residents, land use trends, and potential for expansion. More information on site criteria can be found in the release criteria. Click restocking application for a turkey stocking application.

Restocking Summary

The Department’s trapping and relocation efforts have resulted in the capture and release of 2,973 turkeys from within the state and 693 turkeys from out-of-state. Wild turkeys have been released in 45 parishes since 1963. During the mid-1990s, a total of 766 turkeys (480 captured in-state and 286 received from out-of-state) were released at 35 sites in 20 parishes. Most areas in the state capable of supporting viable wild turkey populations have now been restocked.

Population Monitoring and Research

The Wildlife Division conducts/sponsors a number of survey and research projects to keep abreast with turkey populations status, turkey habitat needs, basic biology, harvest, and harvest rates. These include poult surveys, gobbling activity surveys, banding, and radio telemetry. While more complete information about these projects is contained in the turkey program reports, several generalizations can be made as a result of these activities:

  • Brood size has been found to be generally largest in the northwestern and west central parts of the State and lowest in southeast Louisiana.
  • Adult gobblers typically make up 80% of the reported harvest at check stations on a statewide basis.


  • Turkeys are quite mobile. Movements of 5-plus miles is common in contigous habitat. Two radio-tagged hens moved about 20 miles before radio contact was lost.
  • No nests were lost due to growing season burning by the U.S. Forest Service, but sample size was extremely small. Nevertheless, areas selected for nesting by hens (sparse woody vegetation with little to no herbaceous cover or predominantly grasses) were not typical of sites selected for growing season burns (dense shrubby or woody dominated mid-story).
  • Gobbling generally increases until the start of hunting season, regardless of the start date.
  • Harvest rate can be highly variable depending on the site, bag limit, and season length.


Turkey habitat management activities include improving turkey habitat on wildlife management areas and the Kisatchie National Forest as well as providing technical assistance to landowners and managers with an interest in improving turkey habitat on their lands. Habitat management techniques frequently used include maintaining openings, planting fall and spring food plots, hardwood composition enhancement, and, in pinelands, prescribed burning.

Wildlife Division personnel provide recommendations to LDWF on hunting seasons and regulations based on the results of the monitoring programs.

Turkey Program

The Wild Turkey Program includes management, restoration, and population monitoring and research of the wild turkey in Louisiana. In order to meet public demands for this resource, Wildlife Division biologists offer technical assistance to improve habitat on public and private lands for the benefit of the wild turkey. In addition, monies for various projects are made available through LDWF's Wild Turkey Stamp Program and the Louisiana State Chapter of The National Wild Turkey Federation's Super Fund Program. Two population monitoring surveys are conducted to develop population indices and to track population trends of wild turkeys. The Program biologist represents LDWF on several technical committees that are involved in monitoring and formulating regional and national programs that can impact on the wild turkey.

Population Status

Prior to 1880, the wild turkey population in Louisiana was estimated to be as high as one million birds. However, by the turn of the century, the state's turkey population started a precipitous decline. Exploitation of our virgin forests, subsistence hunting, market hunting, and unregulated sport hunting played roles in the declining wild turkey population in the state. By 1946, Louisiana's turkey population was estimated to be only 1,463 turkeys. Beginning in 1962, a restoration program that consisted of trapping and releasing wild captured birds into suitable habitat was initiated. Since that time, the state's wild turkey population has grown to an estimated 80,000 birds.

Waterfowl Program

The Waterfowl Program is coordinated by 2 biologists, the Waterfowl Study Leader and the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) Coordinator and involves many aspects of waterfowl/wetlands management, research, and monitoring. Due to the migratory nature of ducks and geese, many of these activities are coordinated with other states, multiple federal agencies and private conservation groups. Consequently, Waterfowl Program personnel represent LDWF on various committees which are involved in formulating state, regional and national programs that have impacts on wetlands and waterfowl.


The objective of the Waterfowl Program is to manage waterfowl resources and wetlands to provide for optimum wildlife benefits and quality outdoor experiences.

Louisiana is arguably the most important wintering area for waterfowl in the United States. Hordes of ducks and geese have utilized the coastal bays and marshes, flooded swamps, agricultural fields, inland lakes, river backwaters and oxbows for hundreds of years. Those habitats provide for the needs of a large proportion of Mississippi Flyway waterfowl during migration and winter, and for those of breeding wood ducks, mottled ducks, and a growing number of whistling ducks. The wetlands of Louisiana and their associated waterfowl attract hunters, birdwatchers, and scientists alike.

Waterfowl hunting is incredibly popular in Louisiana, and our harvest ranks at or near the top. According to the most recent USFWS Waterfowl Harvest Report, duck harvest in Louisiana ranked 1rst and 4th in 2003 and 2004 respectively. That duck-hunting activity brings a lot of economic activity to the State. The latest evaluation of the economic impact of waterfowl hunting in the United States showed that hunters spent 1-million days and $105,000,000 hunting ducks in Louisiana in 2001.

In order to meet public demands for this resource, Waterfowl Program personnel offer technical assistance to improve wetland habitat on public and private lands to provide food for wintering ducks and geese, nest-sites and brood-rearing habitat for breeding wood ducks, and to improve hunting opportunities. They coordinate and participate in research efforts with other LDWF personnel, university staff, government agencies, and conservation organizations. Several population monitoring surveys are conducted by Program personnel to develop population indices, track population trends and document distribution of waterfowl. Lastly, biologists in the Waterfowl Program are an integral part of the Mississippi Flyway Council Technical Committee that gathers and interprets the technical data used to set annual waterfowl hunting regulations.

Small Game Program

The Small Game Program involves management, research and population monitoring activities for bobwhite quail, mourning dove, woodcock, ring-necked pheasants, snipe, rabbits, and squirrels. Personnel also develop and participate in the wild turkey research conducted by the Department. In addition, the biologists administer the falconry and hunting preserve programs. Fred Kimmel, Upland Game Study Leader, coordinates the Upland Game Program.

In order to meet public demands for small game, the Small Game Program offers technical assistance to improve habitat on public and private lands. Program biologists also conduct research to assess and improve management. Several population monitoring surveys are conducted by regional and program biologists to develop population indices and track population trends of upland game species.  Personnel also represent the Department on various committees which are involved in monitoring and formulating regional and national programs which may have impacts on upland game wildlife.


Population Status
Data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey show bobwhite quail populations in Louisiana have declined by about 75% since 1966. The Department's fall surveys also illustrate a general downward trend. This is due primarily to habitat degradation. Clean farming techniques in the agricultural regions of the state have all but eliminated quail from these areas. Intensive pine management that features short-rotation densely stocked monoculture pine stands and infrequent prescribed burning has reduced quail populations in the forested upland regions of Louisiana. In addition, a number of unusually dry summers in recent years has resulted in poor reproduction and exacerbated the effects of habitat degradation. However, much of the habitat loss occurred during the 1970s and 1980s. As a consequence, in recent years the population indices have been more stable and influenced primarily by summer weather conditions.

Quail and Grassland Bird Task Force
In an effort to address long-term population declines in bobwhite quail and other birds dependent on grassland habitat, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has formed the Louisiana Quail and Grassland Bird Task Force.  This task force is composed of representatives from nearly 20 agencies or organizations

In his remarks to the group, Secretary Dwight Landreneau noted that partnerships and interagency cooperation are crucial to effectively address the myriad of issues facing bobwhites and grassland birds.  Factors such as clean farming, short-rotation intensive pine management, lack of prescribed burning, and use of sod-forming pasture grasses have negatively impacted quail and grassland bird habitat.

Since 1967, Louisiana's bobwhite quail populations have declined by approximately 75%.  Louisiana is not the only state where bobwhites have declined precipitously.  Bobwhite populations across the southeastern U.S. have declined by about 60%.  This downward trend is not limited to bobwhite quail.  Other species that require similar habitat such as eastern meadowlark and loggerhead shrike have also exhibited significant population declines.

In response to this situation, a plan known as the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative was developed under the auspices of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in 2002.  This plan established habitat restoration goals across the range of bobwhite quail.  This national plan has been instrumental in focusing attention on the plight of bobwhite quail and has served as catalyst for development of state initiatives such as Louisiana's.

One of the first jobs of the Louisiana Quail and Grassland Bird Task Force will be to develop a state plan to define goals and identify strategies for quail and grassland bird habitat restoration in Louisiana.  The state plan will serve as a blueprint for efforts to reverse declining bobwhite quail and grassland bird population trends in Louisiana. 

There are a variety of programs available through federal and state agencies that provide technical and financial assistance to landowners willing to implement practices beneficial to quail and grassland birds.  In addition to developing a state plan, the Louisiana Quail and Grassland Bird Task Force will be involved in efforts to inform landowners and promote participation in these conservation programs.

Reversing the downward trend in quail and grassland bird populations will not happen overnight.  This is a long-term venture that will require the commitment and cooperation of numerous organizations, agencies, and most importantly, individual landowners.  The Louisiana Quail and Grassland Bird Task Force represents a new approach in Louisiana to addressing the plight of bobwhite quail and grassland birds.  Agencies and organizations will be working together in a coordinated effort to restore the ecosystems and habitat that are home to bobwhite quail and many other species

A statewide quail population survey is conducted each fall. This survey is used to develop an index to the quail population for various habitat regions throughout Louisiana. Approximately fifty 19-mile routes are run throughout the state in late October and early November. The routes are randomly located in 5 major habitat types.

An evaluation of habitat management for quail is being conducted on the Jackson-Bienville WMA. LSU researchers with support of LDWF are investigating the relationships between various forest management tools/strategies and quail abundance.

To help determine bobwhite quail survival rates, harvest rates, nesting success, habitat use and movements, 178 bobwhites were radio-tagged and 245 were banded over several years on the Sandy Hollow Wildlife Management Area. Findings include:

  • Only 6.4% of bobwhites survive over 1 year. Most of the mortality was due to predators, both avian and mammalian.
  • Overall, less than 1 in 12 birds were taken by hunters and hunters harvested birds from less than 1/3 of the coveys. However, when a covey was found, about 1 in 5 birds were bagged. Both harvest rates (with crippling loss also considered) are within the recommended 30% value for the South.
  • Quail move considerable distances in the fall and spring. One covey moved over 3 miles and movements of 1 mile were common.

As a response to interest in releasing pen-reared bobwhites for population enhancement by some users of the Sandy Hollow WMA and quail hunters in general, 33 pen-reared female bobwhites were radio-tagged and released in groups on the area in good habitat and provided supplemental food and water. Within 3 days, 52% of the birds were dead and by the 12th day, 84% had died. Within 2 weeks, 97% of the birds were dead. Most of the mortality was due to predation. This study affirms the general principal that most pen-reared quail fare poorly when released into the wild. The potential problems caused by pen-reared introductions, such as disease introduction, outweigh the marginal benefits.

From 1984-2000, almost 8,500 wings were collected from hunters to determine production indices for quail and peak hatch periods.  Average chicks per adult hen was relatively high (greater than 6), but it varied greatly between years due to weather. Quail wings highlight the importance of July and August to quail production in Louisiana. 

National Farm Policy often shape quail and other farm wildlife habitat.  Many Farm Bill issues are currently being considered in Washington. The Wildlife Society maintains a website with up-to-date Farm Bill issues.

Links of Interest
Quail Unlimited


Population Status
Specific population surveys are not conducted for these species; however, the Department's annual hunter harvest survey provides indices to population trend. Seasonal rabbit harvest per hunter has remained stable from 1986-97 while seasonal squirrel harvest per hunter has declined slightly during the same period. It is likely that increased conversion of hardwood forests and stream bottoms to pine forests and poor mast crops have contributed to lower squirrel hunter success. In the absence of major habitat modifications, year to year fluctuations in rabbit and squirrel populations are due primarily to summer rainfall amounts in the case of rabbits and prior year's mast crop in the case of squirrels.

Louisiana has 2 species of rabbits: eastern cottontails and swamp rabbits.  Although the cottontail is considered more of an upland species and the swamp rabbit a wetland (wooded) species, both species occur within our coastal areas.

Rabbits can high productive rates in Louisiana when habitat and weather conditions are good.  Adult cottontails may have as many as 6 litters per year and young of the year may contribute another 25% to the production.

Upland game biologists monitored rabbit population response to rotational burning regimes on an old field alluvial site on Sherburne WMA for 6 years.  Rabbit use suggested that 2 or 3 year burning cycles were optimal for rabbits.

Louisiana has 2 species of squirrels: gray squirrels and fox squirrels.  However, there are 2 recognized subspecies of gray squirrels and 3 subspecies of the fox squirrel.  In addition, melanistic (black) color phases in each species.

In good production years, adult squirrels will have 2 litters--one in the spring and one in the late summer.

Population Status
Several attempts have been made by the Department to establish ring-necked pheasant populations in southwest Louisiana. In the 1960s, pen-reared pheasant releases were unsuccessful. In the late 1970s, wild-trapped pheasants from Texas were released. These also did not result in viable populations. In the early 1980s, wild-trapped pheasants from California were released and thrived, at least for a while. The population has expanded sufficiently to allow a hunting season in a portion of southwest Louisiana. But, because of the limited area and lack of access, hunter participation was very light.

Pheasant season was closed following several consecutive low population counts.  Many newly released species experience rapid expansion followed by declines.  It is not currently known if this is the phenomena observed on our pheasants or simply the result of several bad nesting seasons due to weather extremes--drought and flooding.

Links of Interest
Pheasants Forever


Population Monitoring
Region Wildlife Division and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists monitor Louisiana's breeding mourning dove population along 19 randomly selected routes throughout the state in late May by counting cooing doves. The survey is used as an index to dove populations in Louisiana and, together with other states' surveys, for the nation.

Population trend of resident breeding mourning doves in Louisiana has been stable since 1966. Year to year variations may occur due to weather and other environmental influences. However, since doves are migratory, the number of doves found in Louisiana, particularly late in the hunting season, is influenced by population trends in other production states. Dove populations have been stable during the last 10 years in the eastern U.S.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries along with 25 other states' fish and wildlife agencies began a 3-year banding study this past summer (2003).  Its objectives are to determine harvest rates, estimate annual survival, provide information on the geographical distribution of the harvest and develop and refine techniques for a future operational dove banding program.  We banded almost 1,300 doves in Louisiana this year and it's expected that over 85,000 doves will be banded by all states during the course of the study.  Hunters are a critical link to the mourning dove study.  By reporting your banded doves, you help us manage this important migratory bird.  If you harvest a banded mourning dove, please call 1-800-327-BAND (2263) to report it.

Region and Program personnel work together to enhance dove hunting opportunities on WMAs by manipulating native vegetation or Dove Field Management. They also coordinate leasing of private land by LDWF for public dove hunts.

Upland Game and Region biologists provide technical assistance to numerous landowners on the most effective and legal means to prepare dove fields for hunting. They also prepare and distribute educational materials to inform land managers about dove field preparation and management. Program personnel assisted LSU Cooperative Extension Service in developing a planting guideline for wildlife food plots.

Other Dove Notes:
There are currently at least 5 other different species of dove breeding in Louisiana:  Ground, Inca, white-winged, rock (common pigeons), and Eurasian collared-doves.  The latter is an exotic that is rapidly spreading across the south.  At this time, the impact of the Eurasian collared-doves on mourning doves is unknown.  It is larger and more aggressive than the native mourning dove.

Links of Interest:
Eurasian collared-dove


Population Status
Woodcock populations have been decreasing across North America. It is difficult to quantify the rate of decline because woodcock do not lend themselves to traditional survey techniques. However, the only index of breeding woodcock populations, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Singing Ground Survey, indicates about 1.5% and 2.5% declines per year in the central and eastern U.S., respectively, since 1968. The declining woodcock population is thought to be due primarily to loss of early successional habitat (primarily aspen) in the northern breeding ground states. However, because Louisiana is at the end of the flyway, this population decline is not always evident. Louisiana's wintering woodcock population is influenced primarily by weather. Louisiana will usually have high numbers of wintering woodcock during cold, wet winters.

Upland Game biologists have been involved in a woodcock banding project on Sherburne WMA/ Atchafalaya NWR since 1990. This project is designed to determine woodcock harvest rates from a heavily hunted area. Since most woodcock habitat is hunted lightly or not hunted at all, this would represent a "worst case" and not a typical situation. To date, over 2,000 woodcock have been banded.  Raw woodcock harvest rates on this complex range from less than 1% to slightly more than 10%.

Woodcock hunting and band recovery data are collected from woodcock hunters on Sherburne WMA and Atchafalaya NWR via mandatory self-clearing check stations. These data are used to monitor woodcock harvest, hunter success, and hunt characteristics.

Banding at Sherburne WMA/Atchafalaya NWR has illustrated that  woodcock are longer lived relative to quail and that the birds hold a good degree of fidelity to their wintering grounds. Each year, 5-15 birds captured from prior banding seasons are recaptured. Most birds at recapture are 1-2 years old. However, several birds over 4 years old have been recaptured. About 60% of the birds banding in 1 year and recaptured in another were caught in the same field as originally banded.  One bird was caught 3 times in 3 different years, but in the same field.

Although woodcock are technically shorebirds, young forests and scrub/thickets that are moist compose their daytime habitat. It is at dusk, when woodcock frequently fly to open fields and clearcuts, and during the night when they feed in these areas that they illustrate habits more typically associated with other shorebirds.  The Cajun Becasse Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society has funded some of the management activities on the Sherburne WMA/Atchafalaya NWR that are beneficial to woodcock as well as a host of other wildlife species. Woodcock in the Southeast: Natural History & Management for Landowners is an excellent reference publication.

Program personnel participate in the annual woodcock wing-bee. This is a gathering of biologists that age and sex approximately 10,000 woodcock wings submitted by hunters each year from throughout the U.S. Indices to production, hunter success, and harvest characteristics are determined. This information is used to monitor trends in woodcock population and harvest on a statewide, regional, and national level. The Department hosts
the wingbee about every 5 years.

Physically Challenged Hunter Program

The Deer Program is responsible for statewide coordination of the Physically Challenged Hunter Program (PCHP). The PCHP provides hunting opportunities for individuals who are disabled. Individuals who are wheelchair confined, mobility impaired, or amputees of the upper extremities may apply. Permits issued to qualified persons allow them to participate in special deer hunts on private and public land, provide access to handicapped ATV trails on wildlife management areas.

Permits are also issued for bucks-only crossbow hunting to persons whom medical doctors certify cannot use regular archery equipment.

Home Study Format


Students pursing Hunter Education Certification via the Home Study Format must first complete the approved online course ( ).  The online course is an interactive course that consists of reading material with a narration option, graphics, animations and videos.  Each section concludes with a quiz that must be passed before moving onto the next section.  After completing all sections there is a final test.  Upon passing the final test, the student can print a “voucher” or certificate that acknowledges successful completion of the online course portion of the Home Study Format. 

Upon successful completion of the online course and printing of the voucher, students must attend a 5-hour field day course.   Field day courses are usually taught on weekends or weekday evenings.  Field day courses cover a review of the online material, hands-on exercises, live-fire exercise and a final written test.  Students in the Home Study Format must complete both the online course and field-day course to receive Hunter Education Certification.

There is no charge for the field day course, but there is a $15.00 per student charge to take the online course portion of the Home Study Format.  Students should access the online course through this website to ensure they are taking the approved online course:  To view the field day schedule or register for a field day visit:



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