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New opportunities for aspiring hunters and trappers in Utah

By Staff | Jul 10, 2024

Don't wait to take Utah's Hunter Education course. Classes fill up fast in the fall. Special hunting days -- for those 17 years of age and younger -- start in September.

SALT LAKE CITY – With fall and winter approaching, now is the perfect time for Utah residents interested in hunting to get started. Whether you’re a first-time hunter or looking to try trapping, there are essential courses and programs available to help you begin your outdoor adventure.

Hunter education classes

If you were born after Dec. 31, 1965, you must complete a state-approved hunter education course or participate in Utah’s Trial Hunting Program to hunt in the state. The hunter education course offers two options: a traditional in-person class or an online course followed by an in-person field day.

Both the in-person and online courses cover firearm safety, hunter responsibility, and ethics. The online course costs $25 and can be taken at your own pace. After completing the online course, you’ll attend a field day, which includes hands-on skills demonstrations and a live-fire shooting exercise. A hunter education registration certificate, which costs $12, is required before attending the field day and can be purchased online or from a license agent.

RaLynne Takeda, hunter education program manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, advises parents to support their children during the online course by discussing the material and reviewing it together.

Trial hunting program

Utah’s Trial Hunting Program offers a chance to try hunting without the immediate need for hunter education. Participants must be at least 12 years old and accompanied by a licensed hunter aged 21 or older. The program requires a brief online orientation course, a hunting license, and the appropriate permits for the species you wish to hunt. Available permits include those for small game, general-season deer and elk, bear, greater sage-grouse, sandhill crane, sharp-tailed grouse, tundra swan, and turkey.

“Hunting provides fresh, locally sourced meat and a unique opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and create lasting family memories,” Takeda said. “It is also a vital tool in managing healthy wildlife populations.”

Furharvester education course

For those interested in trapping, Utah mandates that residents born after Dec. 31, 1984, complete a furharvester education course and an in-person field day. The course covers safe and ethical trapping methods, use of trapping devices, trapping laws, firearm safety, wildlife management, and proper catch handling. A registration certificate, costing $7, must be purchased before taking the online or in-person course.

Participants must complete the online course and exam or attend an instructor-led course, followed by an in-person field day. The completion document from the online course must be presented at the field day.

Get started today

Don’t delay in enrolling, as classes fill up quickly, especially during July and August before the fall general-season big game hunts. Unlimited elk permits are available over the counter from July 9 through the hunting season, offering a great opportunity for new hunters.

For more information on hunter education, the Trial Hunting Program, and furharvester education, visit the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website. Start your hunting or trapping journey today and discover the joys and responsibilities of being a part of Utah’s rich outdoor heritage.

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