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Hunting in Utah: 8 Things to Know Before Applying for a Hunting Permit for Your Kids

By    |   Friday, 05 June 2015 09:20 AM

Utah offers an incredible diversity of game animals to hunt.

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So much so that the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has created several guidebooks specific to target game: "Big Game Field Regulations," "Antlerless Application Guidebook," "Upland Game & Turkey Hunting Guidebook," along with ones on waterfowl, cougars, black bear, furbearers, and others.

Each category of game animal has is requirements for permitting, but what is universal in Utah is the state's stance on youth hunting.

Officially, the state encourages youth to learn safe hunting practices and said its DWR wants to help youth develop a lifelong interest in wildlife and the outdoors. It does this through offering outdoor youth-focused activities and hunting opportunities.

However, with the hunting diversity in Utah, it can get confusing when trying to plan a hunt. Here are some things you need to know before applying for permits for your kids.

1. Anyone born after 1965 is required to complete a hunter education safety course before they can buy a permit in Utah. These programs help you learn safety skills, and how to develop practical hunting techniques.

2. The hunter education course gives instruction on firearm safety, hunter responsibility, wildlife management, survival, and other skills. It can be taken in the classroom or online.

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3. Furharvester education is a course required if you wish to purchase a furbearer license and is required of everyone born after 1984. It teaches safe and responsible trapping, technique, and device usage. It can be taken in the classroom or online.

4. Extended archer orientation is required to take part in any extended archery hunts, whereas the bowhunter education course is not required to buy a bowhunting permit in Utah.

5. Before your child can register for an education course they must purchase a certificate of registration. Upon graduating from a course, the certificate becomes a 365-day small-game hunting license.

6. Big game permits for those 18 and younger are not unlimited. The state reserves about 20 percent of the yearly permits for antlerless deer, elk, and pronghorn for youth along with 20 percent of general season deer permits and 1,500 archery permits for deer.

7. Youth may not hunt elk, but may observe adults doing so.  Children 15 years of age or younger wanting to hunt upland game and waterfowl can participate in youth hunts statewide for chukar partridge, pheasant, turkey (only 15 percent of the permits are reserved for these), and waterfowl two weeks prior to general season.

8. Utah removed the minimum age requirement for hunting small game in 2008 and reduced the minimum age for hunting big game to 12.

Download the various state guidebooks by game size from the DWR for more information.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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