HUNTINGsmart! Online Hunter Education Course by Randy Rowley


I took the HUNTINGsmart! course on 9/29/21 because it was a requirement to hunt at Fort Hood, which does not honor state exemptions.  It costs $28.95, plus a state fee of $5.36 (total = $34.31).  For hunters under the age of 17, a field course is also required for certification.  It was an extremely thorough course that covered just about everything.  It included 15 modules and several pre-tests before the 50-question test.

Modules included:

  1. Hunting Basics
  2. Firearm Safety
  3. Rifles 101
  4. Shotguns 101
  5. Handguns 101
  6. Muzzleloaders 101
  7. Marksmanship
  8. Hunting Preparation
  9. Hunting Laws and Regulations
  10. Wildlife
  11. In the Field
  12. Bowhunting
  13. Your Contract to Kill
  14. Survival
  15. Continuing a Great Tradition

As of the time of this review they have certified 789,666 hunters and they’ve been in business 17 years.

It could be improved by:

  • Less information on loading, cycling, and unloading the various actions, and instead focus on the differences between the various actions.
  • As this is a TPWD course, have less or no information on game animals and birds that are not found in Texas (such as moose and grouse).
  • The course should tell you which questions you missed and what the correct answers are.
  • Some of the recommendations were ultra conservative and bordered on asinine.  For example – pulling an UNLOADED firearm up into an elevated stand is no less safe than pulling an UNLOADED CASED firearm into the same stand – it can’t go Bang.  If you do the latter, you’ll have to figure out what to do with the case while hunting from that stand. That’s equivalent to recommending that drivers put tarps over their parked vehicles between trips – those vehicles aren’t going anywhere, tarp or no tarp.
  • Also, pump shotguns are NOT the best action for duck hunting – piston-operated semi-autos are due to their lighter kick for magnum loads.  In my 46 years of hunting, I only know two duck hunters who use pumps.
  • Here in Texas it is very common, and very ethical to hunt deer using corn feeders.  As most properties are less than 500 acres, we can’t stalk deer for miles like hunters in western states can.  Texas is 95% privately owned, with most public land in the far east or far west (it might as well be in other states).  Therefore, we have to bring the deer to us.  I don’t know a single deer hunter who doesn’t use corn.  They should not use baiting as an example of unethical behavior.

Other independent vendors who offer hunters education courses include Texas,,,, and NRA Hunter Education.  Prices range from free (the NRA Hunter Education course) – $49.50 (the course).  The lengths of the courses vary too.

I chose the HUNTINGsmart! course because I needed to be certified before Burl Fulenwider’s, Ryan Rowley’s, and my 5:45 AM trip to Fort Hood the next morning to buy our Fort Hood hunting permits (the Fort Hood Sportsmen’s Center won’t let you buy a permit without being certified) and HUNTINGsmart! claimed that I could get certified in five hours (it took six hours and thirty seven minutes).

Categories : Product Reviews

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog –

Mark Dillow’s blog –

Bible Verse of the Day

Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, For they are the rejoicing of my heart.