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Don't wait, take hunter education now

If you're a young person, some special hunting opportunities are waiting for you in Utah this fall.

The DWR is encouraging hunters to sign up for a Hunter Education class now -- the fall hunts aren't that far away

The DWR is encouraging hunters to sign up for a Hunter Education class now -- the fall hunts aren't that far away.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources photo

For example, on Sept. 21 — a week before adult hunters can hunt chukar and gray partridge in the state — those 15 years of age and younger get a day all to themselves to hunt both species. And a chance to hunt ducks and geese two weeks before the regular waterfowl hunt starts will likely happen on Sept. 21 too.

If you'd like to participate in the hunts, but you haven't completed Utah's Hunter Education course, don't wait — make sure you complete the course soon.

Right now is the perfect time

The start of the special youth hunt days is about three months away. Kirk Smith, assistant Hunter Education coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says right now is the perfect time to take the course.

If you wait too long, you might not have time to complete the course before the hunts happen. "Don't miss out on the opportunity to have some fun and make some great memories," Smith says. "Sign up for a Hunter Education course now."

Smith's invitation is for adults, too — if you were born after Dec. 31, 1965, you must complete the course before you can hunt in Utah.

Hunter Education classes are held across the state. You can see a class schedule, and get contact information for class 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.

The biggest advantage to the online course is its convenience. "Young people are usually busy with lots of activities in the summer," Smith says. "Taking the course online allows you to take it at a time that works best for you."

Taking the course online also allows a young person's parent to sit by their side to make sure they understand what they're learning. The young person can also learn at his or her speed. And they can review the material as often as they want.

If you don't know much about hunting, it might be best to take your child to a class taught in a classroom. Smith encourages you to attend the course with your child. "The class is taught by trained instructors," he says. "The instructor should be able to answer any question your child has."

Whichever way you choose, a shooting test, where the young hunter shows that he or she can handle and shoot a small-caliber rifle safely and accurately, is also a required part of the course.

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