Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 15. Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
1/23/2020

Chapter 275. Game: Hunter Education

4VAC15-275-10. Application.

This chapter applies to any person who has never obtained a license to hunt in any state or country or any person who is under the age of 16 years, unless such a person presents to the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries or one of its authorized license vendors a certificate of completion in hunter education issued or authorized by the director or his representative under the hunter education program or proof that he holds the equivalent certificate obtained from an authorized agency or association of another state or country.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-300.2 and 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

4VAC15-275-20. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:

"Accompanied and directly supervised" means, in the case of an apprentice hunter, that a licensed person over 18 years of age maintains a close visual and verbal contact with, provides adequate direction to, and can immediately assume control of the firearm from the apprentice hunter. In the case of a hunter age 12 years or under, the term means that the licensed adult is within sight of the person under the age of 12 years.

"Adult" means the parent or legal guardian of the person under age 12 years, or such person over the age of 18 years designated by the parent or legal guardian.

"Approved course provider" is any individual, business, or organization that makes available to the hunting public a hunter education course that is approved by the International Hunter Education Association – United States (IHEA-USA) and is accepted by the department. An approved course provider shall have executed and have on file a valid cooperative agreement with the department. The department will make information regarding such approved courses and providers readily available for public access.

"Board" means the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries.

"Department" means the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

"Hunter education course" means a course offered in the classroom, through the Internet, or through an electronic format that provides course content and test questions that at a minimum meet the International Hunter Education Association-USA Education Standards, May 2, 2014, set forth by the International Hunter Education Association-USA (IHEA-USA) and are accepted by the department. A hunter education course shall include no less than 50 test questions, which shall include at least eight test questions specific to Virginia hunting laws.

"IHEA-USA" means the International Hunter Education Association-USA.

"Virginia Hunter Education Card" means a card authorized for issuance by the department to a person who has met the minimum standard of hunter education course competency. This card may be issued as an original or a replacement hunter education course card.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-300.2 and 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

4VAC15-275-30. Provisions for compliance and minimum standards for hunter education course competency.

A. A person shall be considered in compliance with the requirements for hunter education if he meets one or more of the following provisions pursuant to § 29.1-300.2 of the Code of Virginia:

1. Completes and passes a hunter education course that is accepted by the department including a fully online course;

2. Is 16 years of age or older and has previously held a license to hunt in any state or country;

3. Is under the age of 12 years and is accompanied and directly supervised by an adult who holds a valid Virginia hunting license; or

4. Holds a Virginia apprentice hunting license and is accompanied and directly supervised by a licensed adult hunter.

B. The minimum standards for hunter education course competency required by the department are:

1. Successful completion of a classroom-based hunter education course or through another format as determined by the department with a passing score of at least 80% on a written test administered closed book at the conclusion of the course by the designated course instructor or other designated course assistant as determined appropriate by the department; and

2. Successful completion of an Internet hunter education course that is approved by the department with a passing score of at least 90% on an open-book test administered during the online course.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-300.2 and 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

4VAC15-275-40. Hunter education course provider requirements.

A. To be an approved course provider, any individual, business, or organization that instructs or provides a hunter education course shall execute and have on file a cooperative agreement with the department. It shall be the responsibility of the state hunter education program manager or his designee to develop and execute such agreements. A list of approved course providers and hunter education courses shall be kept by the department and made available to the public. Such list does not constitute any endorsement of any course or course provider by the department or the board.

B. As of January 1, 2016, hunter education courses offered through the Internet and accepted by the department shall:

1. Meet the International Hunter Education Association-USA Education Standards, May 2, 2014, set by the IHEA-USA for course content; and

2. Be provided only by an approved course provider that has executed a valid cooperative agreement with the department. Such agreements may be amended at any time by the department and may be canceled with 30 days notice upon failure of the course provider to comply with the terms and conditions of the agreement or its amendments.

C. Any material or product to be used by an approved course provider that makes reference to the department must be approved by the department through the hunter education program manager or his designee before being published or distributed to the public.

D. Any fees charged by a course provider are set by the course provider, but must be clearly communicated to the student prior to the student taking the course. There will be no fees for Virginia hunter education courses provided by the department.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-300.2 and 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

4VAC15-275-50. Hunter education course availability.

A. The department shall provide classroom-based hunter education courses across the Commonwealth on a schedule determined by the department.

B. The department shall coordinate with approved course providers of Internet-based courses so that courses developed and offered in accordance with this chapter are available.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-300.2 and 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

4VAC15-275-60. Hunter education course certificates.

A. Upon successful completion of an online hunter education course, the approved course provider shall provide the student with a course certificate or wallet-size card. At a minimum, such certificate or card shall include the student's name and date of birth, the issuance date, the name of the course, and an indication of acceptance by the department. On a schedule and in a manner mutually agreed to through a cooperative agreement, each approved online course provider shall provide to the department a copy of the record of those students issued a course certificate or wallet-size card. Upon request by the student and subject to verification of successful course completion, it shall be the responsibility of each approved online course provider to issue a duplicate certificate or card.

B. Upon successful completion of the Virginia hunter education classroom-based course, the department shall issue a completion certificate or card, which shall include the person's name, date of birth, and the issuance date. Upon request by the person to whom the certificate or card was originally issued and subject to verification of successful completion, the department shall issue a duplicate certificate or card in accordance with its policy.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-300.2 and 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

4VAC15-275-70. Recordkeeping and student records.

A. The department shall maintain a database of all students successfully completing the department's classroom-based or online hunter education course. Such database shall include, but not be limited to, student name, address, date of birth, course or other compliance format approved by the department, and the specific name of the course.

B. Each approved course provider for hunter education courses offered over the Internet or through an electronic format shall maintain a database of all students successfully completing such course. The database shall include, but not be limited to, student name, address, date of birth, course completion date, and the specific name of the course. On a schedule and in a manner mutually agreed to through a cooperative agreement, each approved course provider shall provide to the department a copy of the record of those students who successfully complete its course. Such record shall include the database information referenced in this section. It shall be the responsibility of each approved course provider to ensure that reasonable measures, such as the Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security measures, are taken to protect any acquired student data. Further, such data shall not be sold or otherwise used in any way except for the student's own completion of a hunter education course and issuance of course completion documents.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-300.2 and 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

4VAC15-275-80. Instructor certification.

A. The department may designate as a hunter instructor any person found by it to be competent to give instruction in the courses required.

B. Volunteer instructors are designated to work on a voluntary basis and at the pleasure of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

C. To be certified as a hunter education course instructor for the department's hunter education program, a person shall (i) have successfully completed a hunter education course and (ii) be certified as an instructor by the department or by a certification program accepted by the department.

D. Applicants for certified instructor shall submit an application to the department on a form and in a manner determined by the hunter education program manager. At a minimum, the application shall include:

1. The applicant's name;

2. The applicant's street address;

3. The applicant's telephone number;

4. The applicant's email address, if any;

5. Information describing the applicant's experience and training in hunter and hunting and proof of completion of a hunter education course that is accepted by the department; and

6. Any other information deemed necessary after review of the initial application.

E. Applicants may be required to submit written consent for a criminal history background check in a manner determined by the department or an interview in a manner determined by the department and in accordance with state policy.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-300.2 and 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

4VAC15-275-90. Virginia Hunter Education Card.

A. The department may issue an optional long-lasting and durable Virginia Hunter Education Card to persons who can show that they have met the minimum standard of hunter education course competency pursuant to § 29.1-300.2 of the Code of Virginia.

B. Upon receipt by the applicant, the optional Virginia Hunter Education Card will serve in lieu of any other certificates or cards that have been issued to the bearer as a result of meeting the minimum standards for hunter education course competency. As such, the Virginia Hunter Education Card will not be transferable or revocable and will have no expiration date.

C. A person may apply for a replacement Virginia Hunter Education Card. A replacement card may be issued if (i) the original card is lost, stolen, or destroyed; (ii) misinformation is printed on the card; or (iii) if the bearer has legally changed his name. Supporting documentation may be required.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-300.2 and 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

4VAC15-275-100. Fees.

A. Pursuant to § 29.1-300.3 of the Code of Virginia, no fee shall be charged for the instructor's service.

B. Fees charged by an approved online course provider for hunter education courses other than the department's course are set by the course provider, but must be clearly communicated to the student prior to the student taking the course.

C. The fee for issuance of an optional Virginia Hunter Education Card, which will serve in lieu of a previously obtained hunter education course certificate or card, or a replacement Virginia Hunter Education Card shall be $10.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-103, 29.1-300.2, and 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

4VAC15-275-110. Penalties for violation.

Unless otherwise specified, any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-300.2 and 29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 2015.

Forms (4VAC15-275)

Volunteer Application (rev. 3/2015)

Documents Incorporated by Reference (4VAC15-275)

International Hunter Education Association-USA Education Standards, Recommendations Submitted by the Standards and Evaluation Committee, May 2, 2014, International Hunter Education Association-USA, http://ihea-usa.org



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