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The Utah House on Monday advanced bills that would give youth in Utah greater opportunities to fish or hunt without buying a license.

HB125 by Rep. Bruce Cutler, R-Murray, passed on a 74-0 vote. It would raise the age from 14 to 16 for when youth are exempt from a fishing license if they are on a school or youth organization trip, such as those sponsored by Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. Such youth must be accompanied by an adult with a fishing license.

The House also passed HB106 by Rep. Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, on a 72-1 vote. It would change age rules for commercial hunting areas — places where hunters can pay to pursue pen-raised birds.

Current law allows hunters younger than 14 to hunt small game on public lands without a license as long as they complete a hunter education course and are accompanied by an adult. The bill would extend the same age exemptions to commercial hunting areas.

That bill also would allow people 12 and older to hunt in commercial hunting areas through the state's new Trial Hunting Program. It was created last year to allow people to buy a permit to try out hunting before taking a hunter education class, as long as they are accompanied by an adult licensed hunter.

Both bills now go to the Senate for consideration.

­— Lee Davidson