Alaska Bowhunter Education Course

All ADF&G certification classes are suspended through February 2021. The Department will re-evaluate the situation in January 2021 and make decisions about rescheduling and future classes based on the COVID-19 situation at that time. If you have questions about completing your certification course, please contact the HIT Program staff in your area.

Bowhunter training with sheep model

The bowhunter education course provides training in bowhunting techniques and safety, wildlife conservation, and outdoor preparedness. Graduates receive a lifetime certification recognized by all states, Canadian provinces, and Mexico.

If you were born on or after January 1, 1986 you must have successfully completed a department approved bowhunter education certification course to hunt big game with archery equipment and the certification card must be carried in the field when hunting.

All hunters participating in archery-only hunts must obtain bowhunter education certification.

The following chart illustrates the current regulations simply:

Type of Hunt Birthdate Bowhunter Education
Draw, Registration, and General Season Before January 1, 1986 Not Required
Draw, Registration, and General Season On or after January 1, 1986 Required
Restricted weapons hunts (archery-only) All Required

The Alaska bowhunter education program meets the National Bowhunter Education Foundation (NBEF) and International Bowhunter Education Program (IBEP) certification requirements. Bowhunter education classes are taught by dedicated volunteer instructors who commit valuable time and offer years of experience. The next time you have a safe and enjoyable bowhunting experience be sure to thank a volunteer.

Non-Resident Hunters

Alaska accepts the NBEF or IBEP certification cards from any State/Province sponsored bowhunter education course. Other state's bowhunting licenses, tags, stamps, age exemptions, etc. are not adequate to fulfill Alaska's requirements.

If you need a bowhunter education course before coming to Alaska to hunt big game with a bow, visit the National Bowhunter Education Foundation website for more information. For more information for each states' bowhunter education course, here is a document with their course options and website (PDF 81 kB).

Please feel free to contact us if you need more assistance or have questions about the bowhunter education requirement to hunt big game with a bow in Alaska.

Bowhunter Education Course Options

There are two ways to take an Alaska bowhunter education course:

  1. Instructor-led course: 2 parts — workbook home study, 8 hour field day (includes shooting proficiency)
  2. Online course + field day: 2 parts — online study and test, 4 hour field day (includes shooting proficiency)


For more information, contact HIT Program staff.