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Bill to allow hunting without hunter ed class advances

Published February 18, 2014 11:16 am

SB165 • Considered a 'try it before you buy it' bill.
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The Utah Senate passed a "try it before you buy it" bill Tuesday to allow hunters to sample hunting before taking hunter-education classes.

Lawmakers voted 26-0 to pass SB165 and sent it to the House.

Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, the bill's sponsor, said it would allow people age 12 or older "to try hunting with an experienced hunter as his guide and mentor" without taking a hunter-education course "to allow more people to experience hunting and hopefully get more out in the field."

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said 35 other states offer such programs to try to increase the number of hunters and boost revenue from licenses to help better manage herds and habitat.

A traditional Utah hunter-education course costs $10 and requires a minimum of 12 hours, usually meeting one or two nights a week. Online courses are also available but still require an in-person field day with a minimum of five hours.