Utah State Parks and Recreation Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Education Specialist Eric Stucki is urging hunters to ride safely this season. Hunters should be properly trained and prepared to ensure a safe hunt. Riders should also remember to protect the fragile environment and ride in a responsible manner.
In particular, Stucki is encouraging hunters to become familiar with off-highway vehicle laws and rules prior to heading out into the hills in search of game.
Under Utah law, all off-highway vehicles are considered motor vehicles. As such, hunters are not allowed to carry loaded firearms on their OHVs, nor are they allowed to shoot from OHVs. In addition, hunters should think of their OHV as a means of getting to their hunting area, and should begin hunting only after they have parked their machine. Game retrieval is not allowed in most national forests.
Stucki also cautions parents to never leave children unattended or unobserved on OHVs, whether on the trail or in the campground.
Campground OHV riding is dangerous, annoying to campers, and can cause serious resource damage. All young riders should be trained, supervised and fitted with proper safety gear at all times.
The "Know Before You Go!" education classes teach fundamentals of safe and responsible OHV riding. Drivers eight through 16 years old must possess an OHV education certificate issued through this program before operating on public lands, trails and roads. Drivers 16 years and older must have a valid driver's license or OHV education certificate.
Children under age eight cannot operate an OHV on public land.
In addition to preparation and training, Stucki offers the following guidelines for safe OHV riding:
Always wear a safety-rated and properly fitted helmet, goggles, clothes which cover arms and legs, and over-the-ankle boots.
Check mechanical controls and safety devices on any machine before riding to ensure proper operation.
Do not take alcohol or drugs along for the ride.
Ride only in areas designated for OHV use. The best way to protect riding privileges is to stay on the trail.
Be courteous to other riders by offering right-of-way and respect areas that are posted or have special restrictions.
Do not carry passengers on single-person machines.
Children and inexperienced riders should always be supervised.
Never ride alone and always let someone know the day's itinerary.
Do not litter, chase wildlife or damage plant life.
Carry tools and survival gear in the event of changing weather conditions and mechanical failure.
For more information about OHV education, laws, maps, and safety information, call 1-800-OHV-RIDE.