This free, classroom-style course allows students to participate in multiple in-person sessions; providing the student with knowledge and skills relative to hunting and hunter safety.
To be eligible for certification, students must:
- be present and participate in all the required sessions.
- attend all scheduled course meetings. No absences will be accepted.
- pass a written test at the end of the course. Students are also evaluated on their skills and attitude throughout the course.
- demonstrate what they have learned about firearms safety. Most courses include a live-fire exercise, under the close supervision of the instructors.
HuntSAFE courses are designed for persons age 12 through 15. Persons who are 11 may participate, but will not be issued a Hunter Safety certification card until their 12th birthday, unless the card is clearly marked that the card is not valid until the person's 12th birthday. Adults are also welcome and invited to attend. Your HuntSAFE certification does not serve as bowhunter education certification.
Exception: If a student's 12th birthday falls on or between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, he/she may be issued a card and is eligible to obtain a license and hunt beginning Sept. 1 of that year.
Students who successfully complete a HuntSAFE course receive an identification card containing their name, date of certification, a certification number and the signature of the instructor.
Until the student is 16, a parent or guardian must present the HuntSAFE certification card to a license agent when purchasing the young person's hunting license.
HuntSAFE Independent Study Course
The Independent Study HuntSAFE course is a blended learning course where a student completes their coursework online at their own pace and as their schedule allows. The student must sign up for an independent study field day prior to starting the independent study course. The course features English and Spanish voice narrations, realistic illustrations and students can study for free and pay only when they pass.
Once complete, they will participate in an in-person field day for about 4-6 hours. At the field day, the student will review the knowledge and skills they learned online and take a written HuntSAFE final exam.
After completing their online component the student will pay $17.99 to receive their field day qualifier voucher. The student will take this voucher to the Independent Study Field Day they sign up for.
To start or view the online course, visit www.hunter-ed.com/southdakota.
South Dakota requires that residents and nonresidents must complete the National Bowhunter Education Foundation (NBEF) safety course in the following cases:
- Youth age 12 (or will turn 12 by Dec. 31 of current year) through age 15 who will be purchasing a big game archery license (in addition, must have a valid hunter safety certificate)
- Any first time big game archery licensee regardless of age (If you are a previous big game archery licensee, you are exempt from this requirement)
- Any resident who receives an archery elk license
If you possess a valid certificate of completion from a bowhunter education course approved by any state or provincial government, you are exempt from the requirement to have a South Dakota Bowhunter Education certificate.
Classroom courses are usually scheduled January - September by volunteer instructors.
The online course option teaches safety in-the-field, bowhunting basics, shot placement and recovery techniques through easy-to-understand information, instructional videos and detailed illustrations. This course allows the student to study for free, paying $30 upon passing the course. The student must create an account and register before taking the course. A certificate of completion will be provided for the student to print after completing the course. Cards will not be mailed to the student.
Any questions about courses or your certification card please contact us:
GFP HuntSAFE Office | 605-223-7700 | 4500 South Oxbow Avenue | Sioux Falls, SD 57106