Some of the state’s hunts are just around the corner. For example, five upland game hunts start Sept. 1. And special hunting days, for those 17 years of age or younger, start in September.
To hunt in Utah, everyone born after Dec. 31, 1965 must complete the state’s hunter education course or participate in the trial hunting program. You can take the hunter education course one of two ways, the first being online at www.wildlife.utah.gov/hunter-education.html. After you’ve completed the online course, participants must attend a field day. The field day lasts about five hours. During the field day, students will be tested on the instruction they’ve received online. Instructors will also teach about handling a firearm safely. Then, participants will shoot a small-caliber rifle on a shooting range.
The other way is to attend the course in a classroom. Students can see a class schedule, and get contact information for the class instructors, at www.wildlife.utah.gov/hunter-education.html. The class usually meets two nights a week, for two to three weeks. In the class, students will learn how to handle a firearm and how to shoot it safely. After completing the class work, they will meet at a shooting range to demonstrate ability to shoot a small-caliber rifle safely.
State officials recommend that if you want to be in the field on Sept. 1, the online option might be the fastest way to go. Gary Cook, hunter education coordinator for the DWR, says taking the course online might allow participants to complete it faster. Students can also take it at a time that’s convenient for their schedules.
“Also,” Cook says, “if you have a young child who’s taking the course, you can help them understand what they’re learning by sitting by their side and going through the course material with them. Your child can also take the course at his or her own speed. And they can go back and review the material as often as they like.”
If you don’t know much about hunting, taking the course in a classroom might be the best option, Cook says. The classes are taught by volunteer instructors who are also experienced hunters. If you or your child has a question, the instructor should be able to answer it.