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Advanced Hunter Education

Photo of hunter in winter, taking aim with rifle.

Hunting is a privilege and the Advanced Hunter Education Program is designed to help make that point. The program consists of a series of exercises that illuminate Montana's rich hunting legacy and how important legal and responsible behavior is to the future of hunting in Montana.

The Advanced Hunter Education Program looks at the history of hunting in Montana (Montana Hunting Story), explores a hunter's reasons and motivations for hunting (Why I Hunt), and tests an individual's values by presenting various dilemmas and asking the hunter what they would do (Choose a Path For Hunting). If you are taking this program optionally, disregard the instructions for defendants and skip ahead to begin the exercises.

If you are required to take this program because of a court order

Montana law requires an individual whose hunting privilege has been revoked to successfully complete the Advanced Hunter Education Program prior to purchasing a hunting license again. If a defendant does not successfully complete the Advanced Hunter Education Program by the date set by the Court or by the end of the suspension period, suspension of privileges will continue until the defendant successfully completes the course. Courts have the authority to sentence a defendant to complete the Advanced Hunter Education Program even if privileges are not suspended (MCA 87-6-915 Click here to go to Montana code MCA 87-6-915. ).

  • Upon your request, FWP will send you instructions and an enrollment form. Return the form with the required fee.
  • You can take the training online or request to take the course by mail.
  • Completing all the exercises will take approximately 6-8 hours. However, you should allow at least 4 weeks for program completion if taking the course by mail. This will give you enough time to receive materials and mail in assignments. Mailing in all assignments at the same time will expedite the procedure.
  • If taking the training online you must send FWP proof of completion: a copy of your Montana Hunting Story certificate, your Why I Hunt profile, and 4 completed Choose a Path for Hunting worksheets.
  • The final assignment, Putting it All Together, will be mailed to you after you have sent FWP your enrollment form and fee; it is not available online.
  • Upon submitting all assignments, FWP will notify you and the Court that you have successfully completed the Advanced Hunter Education Program.

Begin the exercises

Historic photo of two hunters with trophy animals.

Montana's abundant wildlife and healthy habitats are no accident. They are the result of a 100 year restoration effort. You may be surprised to learn that this great conservation work was led by hunters motivated by the love for the game and the challenge of the hunt. Besides being historically significant, it's a remarkable story of compassion, dedication, and the will to do the right thing even when opportunities to do "the wrong thing" abounded. The hunters who have come before us have demonstrated that irresponsible behavior on the part of one individual can jeopardize the hunting experience for many, and that responsible and ethical behavior by that same individual can help ensure the future of hunting for generations. Join us on a journey of Montana's hunting history!

How to complete the Montana Hunting Story exercise

  • The Montana Hunting Story consists of 21 pages with text, images and questions.
  • Proceed through these pages in order and correctly answer the questions on each page to get to the next page.
  • Be sure you carefully read the text above the questions before answering each question.
  • Once you have completed all pages, you can take the Final Test.
  • If you score 80% or better on the Final Test, you'll receive a personalized certificate of accomplishment that you can print out.
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Montana Hunting Story Exercise
Photo of bowhunter

Have you ever been asked the question "why do you hunt?" If you have, you may have had difficulty answering the question. The desire to hunt is something that is not easy to put in words or to share with others. Yet, as a hunter it is important to you to understand your reasons. Every hunter has a unique set of interest, memories, values and experiences that help make up why they hunt. If you know your reasons for hunting you'll be more likely to choose hunting experiences that are good for you. And you'll know how to explain to someone else why you hunt and why it is important to you. The Why I Hunt program will help identify and clarify your thoughts about hunting. Give it a try!

How to complete the Why I Hunt exercise

  • The Why I Hunt exercise presents 30 statements and asks you to select the degree to which you agree or disagree with each one.
  • Your responses are summarized automatically at the end in a chart that shows the relative importance you place on the different reasons for hunting. This "profile" helps you get a picture of why you hunt. For example, you may be a hunter who enjoys the company of family and friends more than hunting solely for meat.
  • The next step in this exercise is a guide to help you find the kind of hunting environment in Montana that best meets your interests. Completing the survey at the end helps FWP better meet your needs and those of other hunters.
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Why I Hunt Exercise
Old photo of two hunters viewing the two young bucks they killed.

Hunters are expected to make good decisions. Yet, it's not always easy to identify and sort through all the legal and ethical issues involved in quickly deciding on a best course of action. The good news, however, is that you can learn to make good decisions. Choose a Path for Hunting is designed to assist you with making sound decisions and choices while hunting. The program consists of films showing real-world hunting situations frequently encountered in the field. Do you know how you would handle each of these situations?

How to complete the Choose a Path for Hunting exercise

  • In Choose a Path for Hunting you are asked to watch some short videos and answer a few questions about them.
  • Each film is about 2 minutes long and includes a dilemma followed by a short segment of two hunters debating what they would do. The Izaak Walton League of America originally produced these episodes in a series titled Outdoor Ethics.
  • To begin, click on VIDEO INDEX for a complete listing of all films. Next, choose the film you would like to watch and fill out a worksheet consisting of a short exercise. Each exercise provides guidance as you think about the situation and decide what's "right". Enjoy! (Defendants required to take the Choose a Path for Hunting exercise, must submit completed worksheets for 4 videos.)
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Contact us

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If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, please contact
Sara Smith(406) 444-9948 or Wayde Cooperider — (406) 444-9947 or e-mail