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Hunting is one of the most popular recreational activities in the United States. There is just something rewarding about spending time in nature and bringing home an animal to feed your family. In order to legally hunt in the United States, you will need to obtain a hunting license. While the process is slightly different in every state, here is a general overview of how to obtain a hunting license.

Meet the Requirements

You must meet the state’s eligibility requirements before getting a hunting license. You must be over the age of 12 with a valid ID. The ID requirement is waived for children when obtaining the license with parental consent. You will need a clean criminal record free of felonies and other violent crimes. You must also not currently owe anyone overdue child support payments. If you do not meet these standards, then you will not be able to get a license.

Take Hunter’s Education Course

You will need to take a hunter’s education course in nearly every state before obtaining a license. This course will teach basic safety measures and local hunting laws. This is often offered as an in-person course, but you may be able to take it online. Once you have finished the class, you will need to pass a test based on what you have learned. You will not be able to proceed until passing the test.

Pass the Field Test

Most states also require you to pass a field test to prove that you know how to safely operate a gun. The hands-on evaluation generally does not take much time, especially if you are knowledgeable about guns. You may be eligible to skip this evaluation if you previously served in the US Military.

Apply and Pay for License

Once you have proof of passing the hunter’s education course and field test, you can officially apply for the hunting license. It will only take a few minutes to fill out the paperwork. You will be able to receive the license the same day you turn in this paperwork. Every state charges a different fee to get a hunting license. The most common license lasts for the entire year, but short-term licenses lasting a few days are also available.