16,500 Pheasants Set Aside For Youth Pheasant Hunt

No Gravatar

Clubs hosting mentored youth pheasant hunts have until Aug. 15 to apply for pheasants

16,500 PHEASANTS SET ASIDE FOR YOUTH PHEASANT HUNTHARRISBURG – Hunting clubs interested in hosting a youth pheasant hunt this fall are encouraged to begin making plans now, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. 

The Game Commission will release 15,000 ring-necked pheasants statewide prior to the opening of this special youth season, which was developed to provide young Pennsylvanians more opportunities to be successful afield.  To encourage more hunting clubs to get involved, Roe has pledged to provide an extra 1,500 birds for clubs that host a youth pheasant hunt.

“The future of hunting is directly related to the continuing participation of young Pennsylvanians,” Roe noted. “Our goal is to make hunting a priority among all the other activities and recreational opportunities that vie for a teenager’s time. It’s truly a challenge for the Game Commission, as well as Pennsylvania’s one million hunters.

“To maximize this opportunity for young hunters, and to ensure we pass along the ethics and ideals of our hunting heritage, the Game Commission and Pheasants Forever urge local clubs to consider hosting a youth pheasant hunt for the young people in their community.”

Those clubs interested in hosting a youth pheasant hunt are encouraged to use the planning guide prepared by the Game Commission and the Pennsylvania State Chapter of Pheasants Forever.  The booklet offers a step-by-step guide on how to develop an organized youth pheasant hunt, and includes: a sample timeline; suggested committees and assignments; general event planning considerations; and several sample forms and news releases.  It also includes event evaluation guides so clubs and organizations may consider changes for future youth pheasant hunts.

The manual can be viewed on the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), by clicking on “Forms & Programs,” and then selecting “Youth Pheasant Hunt Planning Guide.” In addition to the planning guide, the 2008-09 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations will feature a listing of all locations the Game Commission plans to stock for the youth pheasant hunt.

To participate in the youth pheasant hunt, youngsters must be 12 to 16 years of age, and must have successfully completed a Hunter-Trapper Education course.  As required by law, an adult must accompany the young hunters.  Participating hunters do not need to purchase a junior hunting license to take part in the youth pheasant hunt, but all participants must wear the mandatory 250 square inches of fluorescent orange material on head, chest and back combined, visible from 360 degrees.

The 1,500 pheasants the agency will provide for club-sponsored youth pheasant hunts will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

“While the agency’s financial situation remains a concern, providing pheasants to clubs sponsoring youth pheasant hunts is a wise investment,” Roe said.

To qualify, clubs and organizations that will host a youth pheasant hunt must submit an application to the Game Commission Region Office serving their county by Aug. 15.  Applications already submitted to the agency’s Harrisburg headquarters will be processed.

The only two stipulations for clubs to be eligible to receive Game Commission birds are that these hunts must have registration open to the public and must be held on public lands or private lands enrolled in one of the Game Commission’s Cooperative Public Access Programs. 

Applications are available as part of the Youth Pheasant Hunting Planning Guide, or by going to the “Forms & Programs” section of the agency’s homepage (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and clicking on “Youth Pheasant Hunt Application.”

Additionally, to maximize potential participation, the Game Commission will post on its website all club-sponsored youth pheasant hunts.

“Holding concurrent youth seasons for squirrels and ring-necked pheasants will offer variety to youths who participate in these small game-hunting opportunities,” Roe said.  “The state’s long-standing two-pheasant daily bag limit will apply to junior hunters participating in the season.  In addition, depending on the area they are hunting, juniors will be required to comply with restrictions on hunting male or female pheasants.”

Roe emphasized that the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, which enables youth who are younger than 12 years of age to hunt under the close supervisor of a mentor, does not include pheasant hunting opportunities.  The Mentored Youth Hunting Program allows participating youth to harvest squirrels, woodchucks (groundhogs), spring gobbler and antlered deer during established seasons, including the special youth-only squirrel and spring gobbler hunts.  For more information on the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, please visit the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on “Mentored Youth FAQs” in the “Quick Clicks” box in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage.

Other recent Game Commission initiatives to promote youth hunting opportunities include an expanded youth squirrel hunt; a youth spring gobbler hunt; expanded youth waterfowl hunts; special antlerless deer hunts; and youth field day events.

Facts from the Pennsylvania Game Commission: Pheasants Forever is a national non-profit habitat conservation organization with a system of hard working local chapter volunteers dedicated to the protection and enhancement of pheasants and other wildlife populations.  Pheasants Forever emphasizes habitat improvement, public awareness and education, and land management policies that benefit private landowners and wildlife alike. For more information, visit its website at www.pheasantsforever.org.