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The International Bowhunter Education Program was first advocated by Bill Wadsworth, who utilized experience from his association with the Boy Scouts of America to obtain worldwide acceptance of the curriculum. It was through his dedication that the National Bowhunter Education Foundation (NBEF) was formed. Wadsworth served as the first executive director of the organization.

Today, the NBEF administers the International Bowhunter Education Program (IBEP) in cooperation with state and provincial hunter education programs and state bowhunter organizations. Most instructors work on a volunteer basis.

The IBEP is used in all states and Canadian provinces and follows the standards of the International Hunter Education Association, a professional organization of hunter education administrators from throughout North America. While basic hunter education courses include archery and bowhunting, the IBEP provides more in-depth skill information to help you become a more effective and responsible bowhunter.

Hunter education is currently required in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, 3 Northwest Territories, and Mexico. A separate bowhunter education course is required in many of the states and provinces to comply with the bowhunting laws and regulations in those jurisdictions (see below).

The IBEP is offered in all 50 states, all 10 Canadian provinces, and 27 additional foreign countries. The shaded areas in the map below indicate the states and provinces where you are legally required to take an IBEP course prior to bowhunting or obtaining a bowhunting license. Always check local laws as regulations may change or special regulations may exist in some areas.

States and Provinces Requiring an IBEP Course

  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • Idaho
  • Maine
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Brunswick
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Nova Scotia
  • Quebec
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

Bowhunter education is also offered in these countries:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
Map of North America with states and provinces that require IBEP course highlighted
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