Utah Announces Major Changes to Hunters Ed Course

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Some major changes are coming to a course that every young person in Utah must take before they can hunt.

Beginning April 1, the cost to attend Utah's Hunter Education course will climb slightly from $6 to $10 but students will actually save money because they'll receive a free hunting license.

The license allows a Hunter Education graduate to hunt small game. It's valid for 365 days from the day it's issued.

How you register for the course will also change.

In the past, students registered for the course the first night the course was held. Starting April 1, you must register in advance at any Division of Wildlife Resources office or hunting license agent location in Utah.

More than 300 agents sell Utah hunting and fishing licenses.

The following are the major changes that will happen in the program starting April 1:

  • When you register for the course, you'll receive a two-part voucher. After you complete the course, your instructor will mail the first part of your voucher to the DWR. Once the DWR receives the voucher, they'll mail your Hunter Education card to you (this card is called a "blue card" in Utah).
  • The second part of the voucher is a hunting license that allows you to hunt small game. After you complete the course, your instructor will sign your license and place a stamp on it. His signature and the stamp make the voucher a valid hunting license.

A list of where and when Hunter Education courses are offered is available on the Web at wildlife.utah.gov/huntereducation.

Getting kids and adults hooked on hunting

The DWR believes the changes will lead to more parents and kids enjoying the outdoors together.

"About 30 percent of the students who complete the Hunter Education course, but are under the age of 15, never buy a license and go hunting," says Lenny Rees, Hunter Education coordinator for the DWR. "Now they'll have a license in their hands as soon as they complete the course.

"Also, anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult while hunting. These young hunters will have a license in their hands and they'll need an adult to take them hunting. We think this change will bring a lot of adults back who have slipped away from hunting for a bit."

If you plan on hunting out-of-state, Rees advises you to take the course well in advance of your trip.

"You'll need a blue card to buy an out-of-state hunting license, and it could take up to 10 days for your blue card to arrive in the mail," Rees says.

For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4727.