How to take a hunter education class, enroll in the Trial Hunting Program in Utah

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. (Photo: DWR)

Hunting for the first time? You’ll need to look into either taking a hunter education class or participating in the Trial Hunting Program.

To hunt in Utah, everyone born after Dec. 31, 1965, must complete a state-offered hunter education class or participate in the Trial Hunting Program.

July and August get really busy for these classes because these months are right before the fall general-season big game hunts. Those who do get their permits are asked to open the envelopes that contain them.

"Some hunters have been in the wrong units, using the wrong weapon types or hunting the wrong season dates. Don't be that hunter — open your envelope and take a close look at your permit," the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) stated in a social media post.

Prepare to take the hunter educations classes virtually. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the classes are all online. The field day exercise is also offered virtually this year, although some small, field-day exercises are still being offered in person.

The online course teaches hunters about firearm safety, hunter responsibility, and ethics. The courses range in price from $13 to $29. For more information about approved courses, click here.

RaLynne Takeda, DWR hunter education program manager, stated in a news release:

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.

Utah’s Trial Hunting Program is another way to get in the field this fall. The program gives those interested a chance to try hunting with an experienced hunter and see if it is something they'd like to pursue. The hunter education class is not required to participate.

Individuals must be at least 12 years old and be accompanied by a licensed hunter who is 21 or older to join the program. To participate, complete a brief online orientation course, which can be found on the DWR website. In the program, participants are eligible to obtain the following licenses and permits:

  • Combination or hunting licenses (good for hunting all small game, including upland game and waterfowl).
  • General-season deer and elk permits.
  • Permits to hunt bear, cougar, sage-grouse, sandhill crane, sharp-tailed grouse, swan, and turkey.

You can learn more about the program on the DWR website.