A record number of Oklahomans became hunter education certified in 2012 as more than 19,000 people completed the course.
The record number is primarily the result of the hunter education course now being offered online by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, said Lance Meek, hunter education coordinator for the Wildlife Department.
Since the online class debuted in late September, almost 7,500 Oklahomans have completed it, Meek said.
“We still offered just as many conventional classes as we had last year and still tons of kids decided to take hunter education online,” Meek said. “They can take it at their own pace that way and they don't have to interrupt mom and dad's schedule.”
In Oklahoma, anyone age 30 or younger must receive hunter education to legally hunt alone, Meek said.
An apprentice hunting license is available to Oklahoma hunters who are not hunter education certified, which allows them to hunt with someone who has received hunter education training.
Oklahoma is the second state in the nation to offer hunter education online and the first to offer its own curriculum.
Indiana provides a hunter education course online but uses a private company that charges a fee for the service. Hunter education classes in Oklahoma are free, whether in a classroom or online.