imagesThis is a traditional, classroom-style course for students of any age. Students must be mature, able to read and write, and all youth under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a parent unless okayed by the chief instructor.  All youth students (17 and under) must have a parent present during all range sessions, (Usually Thursday night and Saturday morning - check with the chief instructor for the times during each offered course, as these times may vary depending on other events going on at the club.) The Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening class sessions are held 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. and the Saturday session is 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (or when finished). The address is the Thurmont Conservation & Sportsmen's Club, 11617 Hunt Club Road, Thurmont, MD 21788. (Off Old Frederick Rd or Lucey Rd off Rt 550)


Since 1977, when all first-time hunters in Maryland were required to complete a hunter education course, the number of hunting accidents has declined dramatically. The Hunter Education Program is designed to reduce hunting accidents, teach hunter ethics and responsibility, firearms safety, and promote wildlife conservation.

Over 200 Hunter Education Classes are held in Maryland each year. TCSC conducts traditional, classroom-style courses in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. At this time we do not offer the Internet-based, independent study program. Hunter Education Classes help instill the values of responsible, ethical, and safe hunting. The courses are taught by teams of trained instructors who volunteer their time to ensure first-time hunters are provided with the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to become a safe and successful hunter.


The Maryland Hunter Education Classroom-Style Course requires a minimum of 10 hours instruction, but most classes are 12-14 hours. The following topics are taught in the class:

  • Hunter Safety, Responsibility, Knowledge, and Involvement
  • Firearm Equipment
    • Rifles
    • Shotguns
    • Handguns
    • Ammunition
  • Safe Firearm Handling, Storage, and Transportation
  • Basic Shooting Skills
  • Hunting from Elevated Stands
  • Basic Hunting Skills
    • Game Care - Field Dressing
  • Primitive Hunting Equipment and Techniques
    • Black powder and Muzzle loading
    • Bow hunting
  • Responsible and Ethical Hunting
  • Preparation and Survival Skills
    • Maps and Compasses
    • Extreme Weather
    • Wilderness Survival
    • Basic First Aid
  • Wildlife Conservation
    • Identification
    • Management

In order to satisfactorily complete the Hunter Education Classroom Course, each student must:

  1. Attend a minimum of 10 hours of classroom instruction.
  2. Pass a 50 question written test with a score of at least 80%.
  3. Complete practical exercises, which demonstrate to instructors the student's ability to safely handle a firearm.
  4. Participate in supervised live firing on a range.
  5. Receive the approval and recommendation of the Hunter Education Instructors.

 No hunter eduction certificate will be issued if the student fails the written exam, or if the instructors believe the student is not ready to be a safe, ethical, responsible and/or mature hunter.


There is no minimum age to obtain a hunting license in Maryland, and there is no minimum age to take the Hunter Education Classroom Course. Students are required to read a 100-page student training guide, written at the 6th grade level, which they will receive on the first day of class. It may be difficult for some young children to grasp the presented material. Youngsters may also lack the upper body strength and coordination to safely handle a firearm and control the muzzle during practical exercises. If a student (of any age) fails to demonstrate that they can safely handle a firearm or control the muzzle of a firearm, they will not be issued a certificate.

Children age 13 and under are required to attend with an adult. Children age 14-16 may only attend without an adult present, if they receive the chief instructor’s prior permission. TCSC instructors rarely allow children below the age of 16 to attend without a responsible adult. Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to take the course with their children. Parents who attend the classroom sessions are better able to reinforce the training materials with their children. Registered adults who complete the course with a child and pass the written and practical exams are eligible to receive their own hunter education certificate.

Maryland Hunter Education Certificates are recognized by all 50 states, the Canadian provinces as well as Mexican states.


To register for the traditional, classroom-style courses, register online at,-77.362606&distance=1 Class space is limited and filled on a first-to-register basis. If no courses are listed, we either are not close to July yet or have finished our courses for this year and haven't released the upcoming year's schedule yet.



There is no charge for the classroom-style Hunter Safety course. The club -usually- offers a dinner for around $3-4 on Wednesday through Friday evenings at approximately 7PM. There are also drinks available for purchase.


md hunter ed instructor

The heart of Maryland's Hunter Education Program is the corps of trained volunteer instructors who provide the training. Approximately 600 adults are certified as Hunter Education Instructors. Basic qualifications require an instructor be at least 21 years of age, experienced and knowledgeable in hunting, sporting arms, and wildlife, as well as being skilled in the organization and education of youth and adults. Instructor applicants must undergo background checks and receive extensive training prior to being certified as instructors.

To teach at TCSC, you must be a member of the club. Please contact the TCSC hunter education team at TCSC Hunter Education if you are interested in becoming a Hunter Education Instructor.

Maryland DNR Hunter Safety and Firearms Education

CMP Rimfire Clinics (Scheduled At TCSC)

NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course & Maryland Handgun Qualification License (HQL)

NRA Basic Rifle Shooting Course (Coming Soon)

NRA Basic Shotgun Shooting Course (Coming Soon)