Youth hunters (age 17 and under) can sign up now for ODFW’s free pheasant hunts happening around the state starting in September. 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. As with all other activities, Covid-19 safety measures will be in place including mask requirements (during check-in) and social distancing. All hunters are also provided eye and ear protection and hunter orange clothing.
The events are being held in Central Point, Coquille, Monmouth, Eugene, Irrigon/Umatilla, John Day (Prairie City), Klamath Falls, La Grande, Ontario, Portland/Sauvie Island and Tygh Valley. Note the Madras event originally scheduled (and in the printed regulations) has been cancelled. Quail and dove also can be hunted at these events. See dates below and register by logging in to the youth’s account at MyODFW’s Licensing page. Then go to Purchase from the Catalog and look under the Category Class/Workshop / Outdoor Skills. Hunts are listed alphabetically by city name. The youth hunter or their parent will need to be logged in to the youth’s account to register online. If you do not see the event you want to register for, please call the local hunt location. Note that registration is only online; it is not available at license sale agents.
In years past, volunteers would bring their training hunting dogs to some events to hunt with participants. Some events also hosted a shooting skills session before the hunt. These activities are likely to be scaled back this year due to the virus. These events are open only to youth who have passed hunter education. This year, that includes youth hunters who have completed the workbook or online course but not the field day as the field day requirement has been postponed due to Covid-19. An adult 21 years of age or older must accompany the youth to supervise but may not hunt.
“Youth pheasant hunts are a great chance for young hunters to find early success and put the lessons learned in hunter education classes to work in the field,” says Jered Goodwin, ODFW hunter education coordinator. 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 before the event, online or at a license sales agent. Licenses and validations will not be sold at the events. Some areas will host the event both Saturday and Sunday. Youth who register for one day are welcome to hunt stand by on the other day.
See page 26-27 of the Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information, or see https://myodfw.com/workshops-and-events for the local contact for each hunt. For help signing up, contact Myrna Britton, (503) 947-6028, Myrna.B.Britton@state.or.us
Information and photo provided by ODFW