How and Where to Get Bowhunter Certification in Time for Bowhunters |

There are many benefits to learning bowhunting techniques and incorporating them into your hunts. Not only is it a different experience, but you have more opportunities to hunt and you can achieve another level of marksmanship and tracking.

There’s no reason you can’t join the experienced bow hunters clad in camouflage, crawling through the woods with a bow in hand as they hunt down deer or elk.

All you have to do is pass an archery certification course.

Get certified

Just like hunting with a firearm, aspiring bowhunters must pass Bowhunter Ed in order to obtain an Idaho archery license. Idaho Fish and Game offers a few leads for those looking to take up bowhunting training.

  • Instructor-Led Classes – There are usually a handful of instructor-led bowhunter training classes offered statewide during August and September. Hunter/bow hunter training courses are usually combined into a two-week crash course and include a day in the field. Check Fish and Game’s Hunter Education webpage to see what’s currently available.
  • Online Courses – For those looking to learn more about bowhunting safety and skills on their own schedule, the online portal is a great option. The course typically takes around 4-6 hours and offers hunters the opportunity to go back and review sections for clarity. Go to the Fish and Game Online Hunter Safety Course webpage to get started today.

Purchase yohyour archery license

To purchase an archery license, all archery hunters aged 9 and over must have a valid hunting license and show proof of completing an archery hunter education course approved, or show proof that they have been licensed for an archery-only hunt in Idaho or another state, or complete an affidavit to that effect.

Once you have completed your bow hunter training – in person or online – you will receive a valid bow hunter certificate number. Just like your hunter education number, your bow hunter number will be needed to purchase an Idaho archery license.

Stop by any Idaho Fish and Game office or license vendor to purchase your archery license and update your hunting license. (Note: the archery license is already included in the athlete’s package.)

To log in

Once you’ve done the necessary homework, passed the test, and received your archery license, you’re (almost) ready. And almost is not to be taken lightly.

Bowhunting requires an immense amount of practice, not just accuracy with a bow, but also knowing where to hunt, how to track game, avoid detection by animals, and eventually how to track the blood of an animal once that he was shot. Bowhunting is a completely different animal than rifle hunting, so if you’re switching from traditional rifle hunting to archery, be prepared and open-minded for the difference (and the challenge ) that this sport can be.

The most important step? Practice.

Logging in before the start of the season is a must. Archery seasons often provide multiple windows of opportunity both before and, sometimes, after the general hunt for any gun or rifle.

If you don’t feel prepared enough to hit the mountain for the early season opener, that’s okay. Check the 2022 Big Game Seasons & Rules booklet to see when (and if) later season big game archery hunts open in your area. Then, once you feel competent, dive headfirst into this new opportunity.

Earnest A. Martinez