There is no documentation required to enroll in a hunter safety course. Each state has its own requirements regulating what must be taught in hunter safety classes and whether hunters are required to have completed a safety course.
The International Hunter Education Association provides a summary of the legal requirements for hunters in each state and each province in Canada. Most state regulations include a grandfather clause that allows hunters to present a hunting license that was issued before the hunter safety law went into effect; many of these regulations also include exceptions for people born before a certain date.
However, first-time or inexperienced hunters are required in most states to successfully complete a hunter education course before purchasing a hunting license. Some states allow these courses to be completed entirely online; others require a supervised component or hands-on practice that makes an in-person session necessary. To reduce scheduling conflicts, some states offer hybrid programs that allow some or all of the course to be completed through workbooks, DVDs or written manuals.
A general hunter education course covers a broad range of topics, including general safety, handling firearms and other weapons, and wildlife identification and management. The course also covers basic survival training, as well as an overview of ethical hunting and local regulations. In states that list hunter safety as a prerequisite for a hunting license, prospective hunters should ensure that a program is approved by the state before enrolling.