Even for teens who don’t plan to hunt, taking a hunter education course could be a good idea. Much of the class time is dedicated to teaching how to handle and be near firearms safely.

While that might be optional for most, those who want to hunt must complete a course in order to participate. To hunt in Utah, everyone born after Dec. 31, 1965, must complete a hunter education course or participate in the Trial Hunting Program.

There are two options to take the course.

One is to take it online. Those who choose this option must attend a field day at a shooting range, where there will be tests on the online instruction and classes on how to handle and shoot a firearm. Finally, participants will shoot a small-caliber rifle on the range.

The other is to attend a course in a classroom. For information on these classes, visit www.wildlife.utah.gov/hunter-education.html. These classes usually meet two nights a week for two or three weeks. They include hands-on instruction on how to handle and shoot a firearm safely, plus time at a shooting range.

Utah’s Trial Hunting Program allows newcomers a chance to go afield with an experienced hunter to decide if that is something they would like to pursue. This is for anyone 12 years or older. For information, visit www.wildlife.utah.gov/trial-hunting-program.html.