Wednesday, 13 July 2011 14:44
Most new hunters must complete hunter education before hunting.
Summer isn't the only thing that's flying by — so is the chance to get your child into a Hunter Education course so he or she can hunt during special youth hunting days this fall.
The DWR is encouraging hunters to sign up for a Hunter Education class now — the fall hunts aren't that far away.
Photo courtesy of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Several special youth hunting days will be held in Utah in September and October. For example, on Sept. 17 — a week before the regular chukar and Hungarian partridge hunts begin — those 15 years of age and younger can hunt partridge. And a chance to hunt ducks and geese two weeks before the regular waterfowl hunt starts will likely happen on Sept. 17 too.
But your children can't take advantage of any of the state's youth hunting days if they haven't completed the state's Hunter Education course.
With the start of the youth hunt days and the regular hunts only two months away, mid summer is a great time to take the course. Kirk Smith, assistant Hunter Education coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says if your children wait until just before the hunt days arrive, they might not have time to complete the course before the hunts happen.
"Save yourself the disappointment of missing out on some great memories and fun," Smith says. "Sign your kids up for a Hunter Education course today."
Smith's invitation is for adults, too — if you were born after Dec. 31, 1965, you must complete the course before hunting in Utah.
Schedule available on the Web
Hunter Education classes are held across Utah. You can also take the course online.
(If you complete the course online, you must still attend a field day. The field day runs for about five to six hours.)
You can see a class schedule and get contact information for the DWR's volunteer Hunter Education instructors online.
Two ways to take the course
The DWR provides two ways to take the course — in a classroom, or online.
Smith says each way has its advantages. He says the biggest advantage to the online course is its convenience. "Young people are usually busy with lots of activities in the summer," he says. "The online course provides a way to take the course at a time that works best for them."
Taking the class online also allows the young person's parent to sit by the young person's side to make sure they understand what they're learning. The young person can also learn at his or her speed and can review the material as often as he or she wants.
If you're a parent, and you don't know much about hunting, enrolling your child in a classroom course — and then attending the course with him or her — might be the best choice. "Trained volunteer instructors teach the classroom courses," Smith says. "The instructor should have answers to questions that you may not have the answers to."
Whichever way you choose, a shooting test — where the young hunter shows that he or she can shoot a small-caliber rifle accurately and can handle it safely — is also a required part of the course.
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