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Utah's Trial Hunting Program

Have you ever wanted to bring your spouse, child or friend along on a hunt and give them a chance to try hunting? Starting this fall, it will be easy to have them join you on your next trip.

Utah’s new Trial Hunting Program goes into effect in the fall of 2014 and is open to both residents and nonresidents. This program allows anyone over the age of 12 to try hunting for a few years—while accompanied by a licensed hunter over the age of 21—before taking a Hunter Education course.

Signing up for the program

You can begin signing up for this program on Aug. 7, 2014. To get started, the trial hunter must:

  • Be at least 11 years old to apply for a permit and at least 12 years old to hunt.
  • Complete a brief Orientation Course and Exam. (After completing the exam, the trial hunter will receive a trial hunting authorization number.)

Take the Trial Hunter Program orientation course

The authorization number is valid for three years, but the trial hunter can choose to take Hunter Education at any time during that three-year period.

Before hunting, the trial hunter must:

  • Purchase a Utah hunting or combination license. (Our systems will recognize that you are participating in the trial hunting program.)
  • Obtain any permit that is required to hunt a specific species. Remember, that trial hunters may only apply for certain types of permits.

Eligible licenses and permits

After you obtain a trial hunting authorization number, you may apply for and 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, bobcat, cougar, sage-grouse, sandhill crane, sharp-tailed grouse, swan and turkey

Participants in the trial hunting program may not apply for or obtain the following types of big game permits: limited-entry, premium limited-entry, once-in-a-lifetime, CWMU, dedicated hunter, sportsman or convention.

Responsibilities of the supervising hunter

The hunter who will supervise the trial hunter in the field must:

  • Be 21 years old or older.
  • Provide direct, continual supervision and instruction on safety, ethics and hunting regulations.
  • Possess a valid Utah hunting or combination license.
  • Supervise no more than two trial hunters at one time.
  • Obtain and carry written permission from the parent or guardian of any trial hunters who are minors.

The Division has monitored the progress and success of trial/apprentice hunting programs in 35 other states, and these programs have exceptional participation and safety records. This program will simplify the process of allowing people to hunt for the first time with those they love and respect.

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