In the interest of curbing hunting related accidents, hunter safety classes were developed and in the late 1940’s New York State became the first state to pass a law requiring hunter safety training. Other states developed similar programs of their own, some voluntary and others mandatory.
During the 1970’s the scope of hunter safety was broadened to include a variety of aspects besides safety such as hunter ethics/responsibility, wildlife identification, and conservation. Today the course is known as hunter education.
Hawaii’s program began in 1978 as a voluntary course. On July 1, 1990, the hunter education course was made mandatory by statute for persons born after December 31, 1971, or those born before that date but have no proof of having hunted in Hawaii.
Hunter education is offered in each state, Canadian province, and parts of Mexico. Since it’s implementation, there has been a tremendous decline in hunting related accidents across the country.