The NBEF office receives many phone calls every week. We are open to take calls from 8 AM- 5 PM CST, Monday through Friday.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions (and answers):
Q: My state doesn’t require bowhunter education. I have heard it is an interesting course. Where can I go and take the course?
A: The course is offered in all 50 states and numerous foreign countries. In states where the class is not mandatory prior to obtaining a bowhunting license, the availability may be limited or classes offered may fill up quickly. That is why it is important to register as soon as possible for a class.
Q: I have heard there is an online option for taking the class. How do I enroll in that type of class?
A: The online option is available for a number of states. The online curriculum offers 75% of the course. The remaining 25% is a mandatory Field Day conducted by a certified Instructor. You may go online to www.bowhunter-ed.com and check to see if the online option is offered in your state. Many states that offer this option require that you sign up for a Field Day at the time you take the online portion. On the website www.bowhunter-ed.com States will also give you a link to their Field Day schedules and email or telephone contact information.
Q: Should I take bowhunter education even though my state does not require it?
A: The IBEP bowhunter education certification is the recognized and accepted standard in all 50 states and numerous foreign countries. Currently the course is mandatory in 11 states and in many other special circumstances in states where it is not mandatory (e.g. urban bowhunts, special use areas, federal lands). The course offers many benefits such as up to date safety information, distance estimation, shot placement, survival information and much more. All of which will make you a more successful bowhunter.
Q: Can I join the NBEF? What type of an organization is it? Do you accept donations?
A: The National Bowhunter Education Foundation (NBEF) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation which is curriculum based. Our mission is to promote bowhunting through education. We are not a membership based organization. But we do accept donations which are tax deductible under the laws of our nonprofit status.
Q: How can I become an Instructor?
A: Instructors are created from the ranks of those individuals that have taken the basic bowhunter education course. The status of ‘instructor’ applies only to the state in which you are certified as an instructor (Note: Some states may have allow reciprocity status to instructors from other or nearby states). The NBEF has basic standards for all instructors and in addition, the state may supplement those requirements to comply with other educational standards for programs within the state agency. We also suggest that individuals take the instructor course with one or more buddies as the NBEF encourages the Team Teaching concept. That way a Team or group may divide the responsibilities of conducting a course.
Q: If I take a bowhunter education course, do I also need a hunter education course to obtain a bowhunter license?
A: This is an important question. Every state has different regulations and requirements. It is always good practice to check state regulations as they can change from year to year. For your convenience, the state agencies and their contact information are listed in the upper right hand corner of our home page.
Q: When I took my hunter ed class we talked about bowhunting. Is this the same thing as a bowhunter education class?
A: Usually the section on bowhunting during a hunter education class offers limited information and is not as in depth as a separate bowhunter education class. Although some of the material may be similar and apply, a hunter education class is primarily associated with firearms.
Q: I lost my bowhunter education card. Can I get a replacement?
A: Yes, most states offer the opportunity to replace your card. If you cannot locate the phone number or contact information for the Bowhunter Education State Chairman for your state, please contact our office (479-649-9036).
Q: I have heard of the acronym IBEP and NBEF and others. Are these all the same or are these other organizations?
A: The IBEP is the International Bowhunter Education Program and this term applies to the actual curriculum of the program. The NBEF is the National Bowhunter Education Foundation and is the administrative arm for the IBEP. Most often you will hear of the NBEF and see logos which reflect the NBEF. The IBEP curriculum is now most often referred to as ”Today’s Bowhunter” as is the title of the student manual and the online curriculum www.bowhunter-ed.com
Q: Does Europe accept the IBEP certification?
A: Yes, European countries that require bowhunter education accept the IBEP (NBEF) certification.
Q: Is a bowhunter education course from another country accepted in the US?
A: If the bowhunter education course is noted as being an IBEP or NBEF course and has the logo or stated certification noted on the card, it is accepted. If a state has questions regarding the certification they are advised to call our office (479-649-9036).
Q: Can part of my hunter education course count toward a bowhunter education course?
A: As a general rule, the hunter education course is totally separate from a bowhunter education course. In some states, combination courses may be conducted under special circumstances. This may also be true of Field Days after the online course has been successfully completed. The individual should check in advance with the state agency to see if this may be an option.
Q: Will I have to take a shooting proficiency test to pass the course?
A: Shooting proficiency tests are not mandatory or part of the NBEF basic course work. However, they may be mandatory for the type of hunt or state in which you are hunting. Several states require a shooting proficiency as either part of the bowhunter education course or to qualify to shoot in special areas or for special bowhunts (e.g. urban hunts). You should check with your state bowhunter education chairman or other contact information given when you sign up for the class or Field Day regarding requirements for completing the class.
Q: Is there a cost for the course?
A: If you elect to take the online distance learning portion of the course, there is a $30 charge. In addition, there may be an additional charge for the Field Day. If there is a charge, usually this is to cover any materials which you receive during a class or Field Day. Most often, a traditional classroom style course and field exercise are provided at no charge by the state. When you sign up for a class, you should be informed of any charges apply.
Q: Can I bring my own equipment to shoot during class?
A: Students are always encouraged to bring their own equipment to the class to use during the field exercise. Many times if you do not bring your equipment, the instructors will have equipment available for you to use.
Q: How old do I have to be to take a bowhunter ed course?
A: The NBEF does not have specific age requirements. Due to the content of the course, some of the text is written to approximately 14 years of age. Different circumstances may apply which mean the content of the material could be understood by younger individuals. These circumstances would be having the material read and discussed during a classroom situation or having assistance when taking the course online. Your state may have specific requirements regarding age requirements for taking the course. You should check the regulations or contact someone at your state directly for specific information. (State agency contact information is given in the upper right hand portion of our website www.nbef.org )
Q: I don’t know if my state requires bowhunter education. Where can I find out?
A: There are several places you can find that information. First of all, we have a contact list of all the state agencies in the upper right hand portion of our website, www.nbef.org Or you may call our office for this information, 479-649-9036. You should know, however, that bowhunter education is required for many other bowhunting opportunities and may be mandatory in some or all geographical areas or special circumstances. Be a responsible bowhunter and always check with the state agency regarding the regulations specifically for where and the type of hunt you are applying for.
Q: I’ve been bow hunting for years. Why would I want to take a course?
A: Bow hunting classes benefit beginners, those who want a refresher to up their game or those who want to learn the latest techniques and strategies. Completing a bowhunter ed course is required if you are going to hunt in a state that requires certification or if you want to participate in an urban bowhunt that requires special certification.