SALEM — Youth hunters age 17 and under can sign up now for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s free pheasant hunts happening around the state in September, according to a news release.
The events are being held in Klamath Falls, Central Point, Corvallis, Eugene, Irrigon/Umatilla, John Day, La Grande, Madras, Ontario, Portland/Sauvie Island and The Dalles (Tygh Valley). New this year, ODFW has also added a youth pheasant hunt at the new Coquille Valley Wildlife Area in Coquille.
Registration is available online and at ODFW offices that sells licenses. For online registration, the youth hunter or their parent will need to be logged in to the youth’s account. The deadline to register is the Thursday before each 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 Brandon Harper, ODFW hunter education coordinator.
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 also can be hunted. Volunteers often bring their trained hunting dogs to some events and hunt with participants. Some events begin with a shotgun skills clinic, so participants can practice clay target shooting before hunting.
These events are open only to youth who have passed hunter education. ODFW will have 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.
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 at the clinics by ODFW 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 to 17 also need an upland game bird validation ($4). Purchase online or at a license sales agent or ODFW office that sells licenses. Licenses and validations will not be sold at the events.
While most areas have a hunt both Saturday and Sunday, youth hunters may sign up for only one hunt. They 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 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.
Upcoming hunts include:
n Central Point, Denman Wildlife Area, Sept. 14 and Sept. 15.
n Coquille, Coquille Valley Wildlife Area, Sept. 7 and Sept. 8.
n Corvallis (near Camp Adair), EE Wilson Wildlife Area, Sept. 21 and Sept. 22.
n Eugene, Fern Ridge Wildlife Area, Sept. 7 and Sept. 8. Registration not necessary but appreciated.
n Irrigon Wildlife Area (between Irrigon and Umatilla), Sept. 21 and Sept. 22. Sign up for morning or evening hunt (morning only on Sunday).
n Klamath Falls, Klamath Wildlife Area, Sept. 14 and Sept. 15. Additional hunt on Oct. 19 when Miller Island Unit open to youth hunters only on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning at 10 a.m. Call 541-883-5732 from more information.
n John Day Valley, Sept. 14 and Sept. 15.
n La Grande, Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area, Sept. 14 and Sept. 15. Registration not necessary but appreciated.
n Madras, private lands, Sept. 14 and Sept. 15.
n Ontario, Oct. 12 and Oct. 13
n Portland, Sauvie Island Wildlife Area, Sept. 14 and Sept. 15.
n Tygh Valley/The Dalles, White River Wildlife Area, Sept. 14 and Sept. 15.