The Utah Hunter Mentoring Program is a big game hunting program that allows a young person to share a mentor's big game hunting permit. The program is meant to:

  • Recruit young hunters
  • Educate novice hunters about hunting ethics and safety
  • Encourage hunting as a family activity

Through the program, you can help build the next generation of Utah hunters and teach them to be safe and thoughtful in the field.

Program basics

The program allows an adult to mentor their child, stepchild, grandchild or legal ward during a hunt by sharing a big game permit. Adults may mentor an unrelated minor only if the minor has a life-threatening illness and has been given written permission by his or her parents.

Eligible permits include general season, limited entry and once-in-a-lifetime big game permits and all antlerless big game permits. To participate, the adult mentor must apply (in person or by mail) for both himself or herself and the participating minor. The mentor must also meet all program requirements.

Qualifying mentors must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Be the parent, stepparent, grandparent or legal guardian of the minor, or be authorized to mentor a minor with a life-threatening medical condition
  • Possess a valid big game permit
  • Comply with Utah's hunting regulations
  • Not receive any form of compensation for mentoring
  • If applicable, be authorized to mentor by the child's parents or guardians

Note: If you have a trial hunting authorization, you may not serve as a mentor in this program.

Qualifying minors must:

  • Be between 12 and 17 years old during the hunt
  • Possess a valid Utah Hunter Education number or a trial hunting authorization
  • Be the child, stepchild, grandchild or legal ward of the hunting mentor
  • If not related to the mentor, suffer from a life-threatening medical condition
  • Be a Utah resident

One permit at a time

In Utah, it's illegal for someone to possess multiple big game permits for an antlered animal of one species. So, a minor cannot possess a big game permit for an antlered animal while sharing a mentor's permit for the same type of antlered animal. The minor also cannot share two mentors' permits for the same species of antlered animal.

Similar rules apply to antlerless big game permits. Please see the Common questions about the Utah Hunter Mentoring Program page for more details and examples.

A mentor can only share his or her permit with one minor at a time. If the mentor wishes to share the permit with a different minor, he or she must surrender the first authorization and reapply with the new minor.

In the field

Once a mentor and a minor have been approved for the program, the minor will be issued a hunting authorization that allows the two to share the mentor's big game permit.

While hunting, the mentor and minor must remain close enough to communicate in person, by voice or through hand signals. Using electronic devices, such as walkie-talkies or cell phones, does not meet this requirement.

Both the adult mentor and minor may carry firearms in the field, and either the mentor or the minor may fill the permit. However, only one animal may be harvested per permit.

If the hunters are successful, they will tag the animal using the shared permit.

After the hunt

If the mentor harvested the animal, the minor may surrender the shared permit and re-apply to be mentored under another big game permit.

Because the mentor is the individual who originally drew the permit, he or she will forfeit any applicable bonus points or preference points. Likewise, any waiting periods will also be applied to the mentor.

Participating in the program

To participate, download and complete the program application and return it to any Division office.


See the answers to common questions about the Utah Hunter Mentoring Program

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