DNR, Local Pheasants Forever Chapters Offer Youth Pheasant Hunt Opportunity

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DNR, Local Pheasants Forever Chapters Offer Youth Pheasant Hunt OpportunityMinnesota youth can apply now to participate in mentored pheasant hunts this fall, coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Pheasants Forever. Applications are due to the DNR by Friday, Aug. 21.

The hunts, which take place Saturday, Oct. 24, over much of the southern two-thirds of the state, provide an opportunity for youth and an accompanying adult to have a good first  pheasant-hunting experience. Last year, 200 youth participated in this first-ever DNR-Pheasants Forever partnership.

“We don’t guarantee that every youth will bag a pheasant, but we do ensure that youth receive hands-on skills, including safety, from experienced hunters who enjoy passing their knowledge onto the next generation,” said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring coordinator.

Youth selected in the lottery are paired with guide-mentors from Pheasants Forever chapters. To be eligible to participate, youth must be 12-17 years old as of Oct. 24 and possess a valid firearms safety certificate. They also must have a parent, guardian, or adult authorized by a parent or guardian, accompany them as a non-firearm-carrying mentor to the prehunt orientation and the hunt.

“This opportunity is designed for youth who have an interest in pheasant hunting and would like to learn how to do it in a safe and controlled learning environment,” said Kurre. “We require a parent or guardian to accompany the child so they too can learn and, in the end, be a source of social support.”

Applicants must specify a first and second choice of county in which county they would like to hunt by referring to a map of the counties where Pheasants Forever has hunts established. The map will be included with the application.

Hunt lottery applications are available online or by contacting the DNR Information Center at 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367). Applications are due at 4 p.m. on Aug. 21. The lottery will be conducted Sept. 3. Successful applicants will be notified by Sept. 26. Unsuccessful applicants will not be notified.

The winner’s notice will contain specific information about hunting license requirements, equipment and contact information for the hunt coordinator. Youth winners must contact their hunt coordinator after receiving their notice.

To create more hunting opportunities for more youth, Pheasants Forever is seeking permission to conduct the youth hunt on additional private land. Those who have pheasant-friendly property or know someone who does are asked to contact Pheasants Forever’s Eran Sandquist at 763- 242-1273 or Scott Roemhildt at 507-327-9785.