Utah's program began in 1957. During that year the state experienced 126 hunting-related accidents. Of those accidents, 22 were fatal. This sort of accident rate was not tolerable.
The Utah Hunter Education program began as a voluntary program, and in 1960, the program became mandatory. Any resident under the age of 21 wanting to purchase a hunting license was required to complete this course. That law stayed in effect until 1987, when the law changed to require anyone, non-resident or resident, born after December 31, 1965 to complete a hunter education course before purchasing a hunting license.
This law is working; since 1996 Utah has averaged less than seven hunting accidents per year. During that time, Utah has had only seven hunting firearm-related fatalities. Hunting is safe and getting safer.