Summit Treestands
Alaska new bowhunter requirements
Contributors to this thread:
Dwayne 25-Mar-16
kota-man 25-Mar-16
luckychucky 25-Mar-16
Blacktail Bob 25-Mar-16
kota-man 25-Mar-16
Blacktail Bob 25-Mar-16
glass eye 25-Mar-16
Hugh 25-Mar-16
BowmanMD 29-Mar-16
Russell 29-Mar-16
Kevin Dill 02-Apr-16
Rocky515 06-Apr-16
Kdog 12-Jun-16
Nick Muche 12-Jun-16
Kdog 12-Jun-16
cjgregory 15-Jun-16
Glunt@work 15-Jun-16
RutnStrut 15-Jun-16
Nick Muche 12-Jul-16
loesshillsarcher 12-Jul-16
IdyllwildArcher 12-Jul-16
Bou'bound 12-Jul-16
cjgregory 12-Jul-16
loesshillsarcher 12-Jul-16
loesshillsarcher 13-Jul-16
Rock 13-Jul-16
loesshillsarcher 13-Jul-16
From: Dwayne
I realize there is a thread dealing with this already but I wanted to start a new one. Why? Because that thread turned into mostly speculation and debate about what the requirements are or should be. I took a new approach and yesterday emailed the Alaska Fish and Game to get the answers.

I asked about what seemed to be conflicting information on their webpage at:

I specifically referenced two sections on that page:

1) Non-Resident Hunters

All bowhunters must have a Bowhunter Education Certification Card on their person while bow hunting in all "archery only" areas of Alaska. Alaska accepts the NBEF or IBEP Certification Cards from any State/Province sponsored "bowhunter education specific" courses (not combination classes). Other state's bowhunting licenses, tags, stamps, age exemptions, etc. are not adequate to fulfill Alaska's requirements.

2) Bowhunter Education Course Options:

There are two ways to take a Bowhunter Education Course:

1. Traditional Course — 8 hours; includes classroom, field portion and proficiency shoot

2. Online Course — 2 parts; online study and test, 3 hour field day with proficiency shoot

Here is the response I received:


"Hello Dwayne,

Sorry for the confusion. We are in the process of updating our bowhunter education course webpage as the regulations just changed.

The two paragraphs that you reference are separate topics.

Non-Resident Hunters:

Alaska does accept other state’s NBEF/IBEP certification cards, whether they have a shooting proficiency included in the course or not as that is a per state decision. We realize that many states only offer an in-person class without a proficiency shoot or some states also offer an online-only class, and so we can’t reasonably expect non-residents to have to complete a proficiency shoot when it’s not offered in their state.

Bowhunter Education Options:

Alaska offers two bowhunter education course options to people who want to take the course in Alaska, and both options include a shooting proficiency.

The regulation that would have required all bowhunters to have bowhunter education starting July 1, 2016 has been changed. The new regulation provides an exemption for bowhunter education requirements as follows:

· Beginning July 1, 2016, a person born after January 1, 1986 using a longbow, recurve bow, or compound bow to hunt big game must have successfully completed a department-approved bowhunter education course.

· A hunter using a longbow, recurve bow, or compound bow for any restricted weapons hunt that authorizes taking big game by bow and arrow, must have successfully completed a department-approved bowhunter education course (this current law is still in effect).

Hopefully this clears up your confusion, and if not, please give me a call or send me an email.


Ginamaria Smith Program Coordinator Hunter Information and Training Program Alaska Department of Fish & Game 333 Raspberry Road Anchorage, AK 99518

Phone: (907) 267-2196 Fax: (907) 267-2323"


Good luck to all who will be hunting the great state of Alaska this year! Oh, and don't forget your Bowhunter Ed certificate. :)


From: kota-man
THanks for the confirmation Dwayne. So to summarize:

*Born prior to Jan 1, 1986, hunting with a bow in a "General Season" does NOT require Bowhunter's Ed.

*Hunting in a "restricted weapons" hunt still requires the course no matter your age. (unchanged from before)

Anyone see this any differently?

From: luckychucky
I called ADFG too and got the same story. The other thread had me for a bit as I took the course several years ago but could not find my card. They are sending a duplicate for $5. However at this point in my life I do not plan to put in for hard hunts (drawings) to the peaks for Mt Goats, to the alpine for elk, or brown bears in sneakers. I'll take the easy path to rutting Sitka Blacktails and fishing black bears. I will not be required to be NBEF certified but it was a fun field day with a chance to get acquainted with other locals into the challenge of bowhunting.

Boy! That is not what I understood the new regulation to be. Page 13 of the 2015-2016 Alaska Hunting Regulations proclamation reads:

Attention all Bowhunters: Beginning July 1, 2016, all hunters using bow and arrow to hunt big game must have successfully completed a department approved bowhunter certification course.

I also went to the website and found the following:

New Bowhunter Requirement Bowhunters in hunts restricted to archery only must carry their IBEP or equivalent department approved certification card on them while archery hunting in the field, and must show their card to peace officers and department employees upon request. Beginning July 1, 2016, all big game hunters using archery will be required to have successfully completed a department approved certification course. Currently, this is required if the hunt is restricted to archery only

So, the way I read this, is that if you are hunting is an archery only area, you must carry the card with you. But if you are bowhunting any Big Game anywhere in the State, you must have completed the course by July 1, 2016.

From: kota-man
Bob...You're thinking of the OLD, new regulation. The new, new regulation as of last Monday is listed above, but not yet updated on the website.

Yes, Nick advised me of the change at the recent Board of Game meeting.

Nonetheless, I would recommend all Bowhunters remain very careful and vigilant of this. It is the kind of thing various personnel may choose to interpret differently and impose their own version upon individual Bowhunters.

I know of instances where both ADF&G personal and wildlife enforcement officers have made up their own interpretations of regulations. So, you might end up with a citation based upon those interpretations and have to either pay up or fight it in court which would cost you more.

From: glass eye
Glad to see this because I drew a POW black bear tag for spring 2017 and I had been searching for field classes near my area but none are less than a 2 hour drive each way. Not terribly far but inconvenient just the same. I was born well before 1986.

From: Hugh
So Im going to be safe and carry my card, that may or may not be required! In fact I have two(duplicate) one goes in my pack, and one in my wallet!

From: BowmanMD
I just completed the Wisconsin NBEF course online today. Took about 3-4 hours total and didn't require a field day, which was incredibly convenient. Unfortunately, it is available only to WI residents. I will be hunting Alaska for moose in a general area this fall, so I won't need it with the new change, but at least I have it either way.

From: Russell

Russell's Link
Here's the link to

Each state is different. Here in Alabama, it's all online and costs $30.

From: Kevin Dill

Kevin Dill's Link
For the record, I spoke with Gina yesterday afternoon and she confirmed the update to the IBEP requirement which basically exempts those born before 1-1-86 from the requirement. She also advised me the adfg website has a new banner (see link) which states the update. I visited the website and the info is there now, just as she said.

Interestingly, I had called the Fairbanks office of adfg yesterday earlier and the person I spoke with had no clue about the changes.

From: Rocky515
OK, this is a step in the right direction

From: Kdog
Sorry but this makes me want to just pick up a rifle for hunting in Alaska. I took a hunters education course in Texas at 30 years old. Taught me everything I needed to know to hunt here with a bow or otherwise, :).

I need to figure out what I need to do so I can hunt up there. Nothing planned so I have time, but it just seems ridiculous. A bow hunter could have killed big game all over north America with his/her bow but not be allowed to hunt? Stupid.

I get having hunters education, but this seems like so much hassle.........

Anyway, thank you for the information.

From: Nick Muche
Don't let this deter you from an Alaskan Bowhunt... Best of luck

From: Kdog
I won't.....the problem is finding a class nearby that will work for me.

Anyway, I was probably not thinking straight when I posted that late last night.... Also, I think I read that it is only required if you are born after 1986 or are hunting in an archery only area.

From: cjgregory
I took mine up in Anchorage. It's an easy proficiency test. I shoot a recurve and scored a 100%.

From: Glunt@work
Bowhunter ED should be supported, promoted and funded. It should NOT be mandated. Thousands of things in life are more dangerous than bowhunting and I really would rather not be forced to take a class to participate in them.

Yes, its good to get some instruction before running a skillsaw, kayaking, riding a horse or parking up at the overlook with one of the Henderson sisters, but I don't think we need a license for every normal activity that has bit of risk.

From: RutnStrut
"I just completed the Wisconsin NBEF course online today. Took about 3-4 hours total and didn't require a field day"

Of all the states that should have a competency test, WI is at the top. Unfortunately the liberals are worried it will leave someone out.

From: Nick Muche

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
I was carrying my card this past weekend while bow hunting on the north slope. We never got checked though, the bugs must have been too bad.

I took a class years ago. How do I know if it is IDEP/NBEF acceptable? could be a dumb question. idk. lol

Nick, you look like you got rained on a little...

To the guy that brought this thread back up, the regulation got changed to people that are younger than you are, except for bow-only tags, which are a tiny minority of tags in AK.

Most of the hunting you're going to consider, you won't need the class.

From: Bou'bound
What is idep

From: cjgregory
I'm ok with it. Three years ago I was working up there and took the archery proficiency test with my recurve and got my Bowhunting card.

The guy running it was supporting it because when the archery only areas were opened (areas around Anchorage, Wasilla etc.) people ran out and bought bows so they could hunt without driving a long ways only to have moose running through town with arrows sticking out of them.

There was a pretty serious uprising from the residents. So it was the best compromise.

IBEP or whatever that means then.

How do you find out if a course is IBEP/NBEF acceptable? I took a bow safety course in Iowa 16 years ago. idk

From: Rock
Ned, I scanned my card and sent it to the Alaska wildlife dept and they told me it met the requirements. Think I visited their website and found the Emails address for the people in charge of it if I remember correctly. I could look on my computer at home and probably find it as I am sure I saved it.

Thanks Ron.

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