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UnknownNew hunters can beat the rush, get a license in time for gobbler season by taking a course this spring.

          Those who plan to purchase their first hunting license this year will need to make plans to attend a Hunter-Trapper Education course, and classes are being held at locations across the state, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Springtime is a great time to complete the course.
Because the fall hunting seasons – and the corresponding rush for new hunters to become certified – still are months away, it can be easier to find a class now compared to later in the year. 

          Plus, those who complete the class now, still will have time to buy a license and hunt in the upcoming spring gobbler season, and will be able to apply for a 2015-16 antlerless deer license before they sell out. 
To register for a course in your area, visit and click on the “Learn to Hunt” link, or go tothe Game Commission’s website (, and click on “Hunter Education Classes” icon in the center of the homepage.  From here, you can elect to take the basic “Hunter-Trapper Education” course, which is typically a six-hour course held over one or two days. 
Persons 16 years of age or older also may elect to take the new fully online Hunter-Trapper Education course, which also takes about six hours to complete. Those who are certified through the online course must pay a $19.50 fee upon completion. 
Andy Hueser, a hunter-education specialist with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said most students continue to prefer the classroom-taught courses. And those who are looking for a course should keep in mind that the courses are added to the schedule regularly throughout the year, so it’s a good idea to check back frequently, particularly if there’s not a course open in your area at the present time, Hueser said.
“Please know, though, that some areas have a limited number of classes, and the dates and times when they are scheduled might not be convenient for you,” Hueser said “Still, our dedicated team of instructors amazingly offers more than 900 classes each year, and the new online option has the potential to conveniently fit into anybody’s schedule.”
More than 41,000 individuals took Hunter-Trapper Education courses throughout the state last year. There is no fee for the basic, classroom-taught course. Pre-registration is required and online registration is available for all courses through the Class Calendar.
Prior to arriving at their class, students are asked to review four chapters of their student manual, which is available online when you register. Participants must attend all instruction before taking a test at the end of the course. Youngsters must be at least 11 years old to receive certification.
Successful completion of a basic Pennsylvania Hunter-Trapper Education class, or another state’s equivalent course, is required by state law to obtain a first-time hunting or furtaker license, regardless of age. 
In addition, registrations are being accepted for other educational programs offered by the Game Commission, including Successful Turkey Hunting, Successful Bowhunting, Successful Furtaking and Cable Restraint Certification. 
          The Successful Turkey Hunting course is designed to provide the knowledge and skills needed to hunt safely and confidently in both spring and fall seasons. Veterans will learn methods and techniques that will help them become better hunters. Students will receive a 140-page student guide and a diaphragm turkey call as part of the program. Classes started this spring and continue through the summer and early fall. A $15 fee is being charged to offset costs.
The Successful Bowhunting course is a one-day voluntary training program for those seeking to expand their skills and knowledge of bowhunting. Although Pennsylvania doesn’t require archers to complete a bowhunting education course before they purchase an archery license, certification for this course is required to bowhunt in some other states. There is a $20 course fee, which covers the cost of the online study course required before attending the class.
Successful Furtaking is a one-day training program that provides extensive hands-on training to new and experienced furtakers. The course promotes Best Management Practices and is designed for any person seeking to learn more about furtaking and to improve his or her skills and success. The course includes the cable-restraint certification that is required to participate in Pennsylvania’s cable-restraint season for foxes and coyotes. This course also fulfills the requirement that all first-time furtaker license buyers pass either a basic trapper education course or basic Pennsylvania HTE course. A $15 course fee is charged.
The Cable Restraint Certification course is required for those trappers seeking to participate in Pennsylvania’s annual trapping season in which cable restraints are used to capture coyotes and foxes. The course fee is $15, and students will get to keep various education materials and one legal cable restraint provided as part of the course.