As of Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Young hunters, ages 17 and under, are invited to sign up now for the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife’s free pheasant hunts happening around the state in September.
Locally, the pheasant hunt will take place at Tygh Valley in the White River Wildlife Area on Sept. 16-17. Young people can register online for a Class/Youth Upland Hunt, at a licensed sales agent or at an ODFW office that sells licenses.
ODFW and partners stock pheasants at these special hunts that give youth a head start on regular pheasant seasons, which don’t begin until October. Quail and dove can also be hunted. Volunteers often bring their trained hunting dogs to hunt with participants. Some events also begin with a shotgun skills clinic, so participants can practice clay target shooting before hunting.
These events are only open to youth who have passed hunter education. ODFW has many hunter education classes and field days available before the events. An adult 21 years of age or older must accompany the youth to supervise, but may not hunt.
“If your child made it through hunter education but is still new to the sport, this is a great way to get them started,” said James Reed, ODFW hunter education coordinator. “These events happen before regular pheasant seasons open and are a great opportunity for kids to get out hunting.”
ODFW stresses safety during the hunts. Both hunter and supervisor must wear a hunter orange hat, eye protection and a hunter orange vest — equipment provided by ODFW at the clinics to anyone who doesn’t have it. Hunters also need to check in and out of the hunt.
The hunts are free, though participants need a valid hunting license ($10 for youth 12 and older, free for age 11 and under) to hunt. Youth hunters age 12-17 also need an upland game bird validation ($4). Purchase these online, at a licensed sales agent or ODFW office. Licenses and validations will not be sold at the events.