KEY: wildlife, game laws, hunter education

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: July 8, 2014

Notice of Continuation: New Rule

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted law: 23-14-1, 23-14-3, 23-14-18, 23-14-19, and 23-19-1

R657-67-1. Purpose and Authority.

Under the authority of Utah Code Annotated Sections 23-14-1, 23-14-3, 23-14-18, 23-14-19, and 23-19-1, this rule creates a hunting mentor program that will increase hunting opportunities for Utah families and provides the procedures under which a minor child may share the permit of another to take big game, including all big game general season permits, big game limited entry permits, once-in-a-lifetime permits, and all antlerless big game permits.

R657-67-2. Definitions.

(1) Terms used in this rule are defined in Section 23-13-2 and this Subsection.

(2) "Hunting Mentor" means a Resident or Nonresident individual possessing a valid permit issued by the Division to take a big game animal in Utah and who is 21 years of age or older when the big game animal is taken.

(3) "Qualifying Minor" means a Utah Resident who is under 18 when engaged in a hunting related activity, and

(i) is the child, stepchild, grandchild, or legal ward of the Hunting Mentor; or

(ii) is suffering from a life threatening medical condition.

(4) "Wildlife document" means a big game permit or Division-issued authorization to share a big game permit.

R657-67-3. Requirements for Sharing Permits.

(1) A Hunting Mentor may lawfully share a permit with a Qualifying Minor, and a Qualifying Minor may lawfully take big game authorized by the Hunting Mentor's permit, if the following conditions are satisfied:

(a) The Qualifying Minor is at least 12 years of age when hunting;

(b) The Qualifying Minor has successfully completed a Hunter's Education Program recognized by the Division and possesses a Utah Hunter's Education number;

(c) The Hunting Mentor receives prior written approval by the Division authorizing the sharing of the permit;

(d) The Hunting Mentor receives no form of compensation or remuneration for sharing the permit with the Qualifying Minor;

(e) The Hunting Mentor accompanies the Qualifying Minor while hunting at a distance where the Hunting Mentor can communicate in person with the Qualifying Minor by voice or hand signals;

(f) The Hunting Mentor provides advice, assistance, and mentoring on sportsman ethics, techniques, and safety to the Qualifying Minor; and

(g) Both the Hunting Mentor and the Qualifying Minor otherwise comply with all laws, rules, and regulations governing the taking of big game as authorized by the permit.

(2) A Qualifying Minor does not need to possess a valid hunting or combination license to participate in the mentor program.

(3) A Qualifying Minor may not simultaneously possess a permit for an antlered big game animal and share a permit for an antlered big game animal of the same species.

(4) A Qualifying Minor may not simultaneously share the permits of two or more Hunting Mentors if those permits are for the same antlered big game species.

(5) A Hunting Mentor may only share their permit with one Qualifying Minor at a time.

R657-67-4. Administrative Process for Sharing Permits.

(1) The Hunting Mentor shall submit a complete application for participation in the mentor program and receive the Division's written authorization prior to sharing a permit.

(2) A complete application for the mentor program includes the following:

(a) A handling fee as established by the Utah Legislature;

(b) The Permit Number that is to be shared;

(c) A physically identifying description of the Qualifying Minor;

(d) The Qualifying Minor's hunter education number;

(e) Written certification(s) of the following:

(i) That the Qualifying Minor is the child, stepchild, grandchild, or legal ward of the Hunting Mentor; or

(ii) That the Qualifying Minor has a life threatening medical condition; and the Hunting Mentor must also certify that they have received written authorization from the Qualifying Minor's parent or legal guardian approving their participation in the hunting activity; and

(f) any wildlife document(s) that must be surrendered in order to qualify for the Hunter Mentoring Program.

(3) If a Qualifying Minor must surrender a wildlife document in order to qualify for the Mentor Program, that surrender must be done prior to or at the time of their application to the Utah Hunter Mentoring Program as described in R657-67-6.

(4) If a Hunting Mentor wishes to change the Qualifying Minor with whom they share their permit, they must:

(a) Surrender the authorization issued to the Qualifying Minor by the Division;

(b) Reapply with the Division to have a new Qualifying Minor participate in the mentor program in the same manner as described in this Section.

R657-67-5. Sharing the Permit in the Field.

(1) While in the field, the Hunting Mentor must possess the following:

(a) All written certifications submitted to the Division for the Qualifying Minor's participation in the mentor program;

(b) If the Hunting Mentor is not the Qualifying Minor's parent or legal guardian, the Hunting Mentor must also certify that they have received written authorization from the Qualifying Minor's parent or legal guardian approving their participation in the hunting activity; and

(c) The authorization issued by the Division allowing the Qualifying Minor to share in the use of the Hunting Mentor's permit;

(2) Both the Qualifying Minor and the Hunting Mentor may carry a legal weapon in the field if they have satisfied the requirements to participate in the Mentoring Program.

(3) Big game taken by a Qualifying Minor shall be tagged with the Hunting Mentor's permit in the same manner as if the Hunting Mentor was the individual taking the animal.

(4) Only one big game animal may be taken under a shared permit, and the issuance of written authorization to share the permit does not confer additional rights to take big game.

R657-67-6. Variances, Surrenders, Refunds, Special Accommodations, and Administrative Details.

(1) The surrender of a wildlife document shall generally be in accordance with R657-42-4.

(2) Notwithstanding R657-42-4, a Qualifying Minor may surrender a wildlife document in their possession as part of their application to participate in the Hunter Mentoring Program, consistent with the following:

(a) the timeframe for a Qualifying Minor to surrender a permit is defined in this Section;

(b) A Qualifying Minor may surrender a wildlife document obtained as part of a group application and have their bonus points or preference points reinstated and waiting period waived without requiring all group members to also surrender their permits; and

(c) A Qualifying Minor who wishes to surrender a wildlife document after the opening day of that hunt may only do so if:

(i) they did not hunt under the authorization of that wildlife document; and

(ii) their legal guardian submits a signed affidavit certifying that the Qualifying Minor did not hunt under that wildlife document.

(4) All variances, refunds, and accommodations for people with disabilities shall be based on the type of permit that is shared and the individual using the wildlife document.

(5) All bonus points, reference points, and waiting periods shall be assessed to the Hunting Mentor.

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