HARRISBURG – Young Pennsylvania hunters will have 22 different mentored youth pheasant hunts to choose from thanks to the efforts of sportsmen’s clubs that stepped forward to sponsor the programs as part of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s annual youth pheasant season, which will be held Oct. 7-13.
This hunting opportunity is open to youth ages 12-16 who have successfully completed a Hunter-Trapper Education course. However, there is no requirement that they purchase a hunting license.
“The future of hunting is directly related to the continuing participation of young Pennsylvanians in our hunting seasons,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “One of the keys to promoting youth hunting is the tremendous effort of our hunting clubs. These groups are the grassroots organizations that sponsor Youth Field Day events and Hunter-Trapper Education courses throughout the year.”
Working with the Pennsylvania State Chapter of Pheasants Forever, the Game Commission’s Youth Pheasant Hunt Committee prepared a “Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt Planning Guide” to enable groups to develop and sponsor a mentored youth pheasant hunt program.
Also, the youth pheasant hunt overlaps with the state’s youth squirrel hunt, which also runs Oct. 7-13.
“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 daily bag limit of two pheasants will apply to junior hunters participating in this season. Also, hens remain protected in the male-pheasant-only zones.”
The Game Commission will release 15,000 pheasants on land open to public hunting prior to the start of the seven-day season, and an additional 1,700 pheasants — an increase from the planned 1,500 birds — will be divided and shipped to the 22 sportsmen’s clubs that have signed up to host a mentored youth pheasant hunt. Hunters, however, are not limited to hunting in only those areas where pheasants have been stocked. The pheasant stocking locations and pheasant hunting area maps are outlined on pages 26-28 of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, as well as on the agency’s Web site.
“Thanks to excellent production and limited mortalities from weather events, such as excessive rain and wind, our pheasant propagation farms were able to exceed the number of pheasants we planned to provide to clubs,” Roe said. “On behalf of the Game Commission, I would like to extend my sincere thanks and praise to the members of these clubs for sponsoring a mentored youth pheasant hunt, and for all that they do to preserve and pass along our state’s rich and proud hunting heritage to a new generation.”
In Clearfield County, Pennsylvania Wildlife Habitat Unlimited will host a Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt at Big “A” Hunting Lodge near Luthersburg for 25 youth. To register, contact Laura Johnson at 371-4856 or email@example.com.