From the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife - Free youth pheasant hunts around the state in September – Sign up now!
Salem, Oregon - Youth hunters (age 17 and under) can now sign up for free upland bird hunts being planned at 11 locations across the state in September (Baker City, Central Point, Corvallis, Eugene, Irrigon/Umatilla, John Day, Klamath Falls, La Grande, Madras, Portland, The Dalles/Wamic).
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 may also be hunted. Volunteers from Oregon Hunters Association and other sportsman groups often bring their trained hunting dogs to guide participants. Some events also begin with a shotgun skills clinic, so participants can practice clay target shooting before hunting.
With the exception of a mentored youth hunt at EE Wilson Wildlife Area near Corvallis on Sept. 21, these events are only open to youth who have passed hunter education. 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,” says 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.”
The hunts emphasize safety. 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.
To register, sign up online, at a license sales agent, or at an ODFW office that sells licenses. Two locations, Fern Ridge Wildlife Area in Eugene and Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area in La Grande, don’t require advance registration.
The hunts are free, though youth hunters need a valid hunting license ($14.50) and Harvest Information Program validation (free) to hunt. Youth hunters age 14-17 also need an upland game bird validation ($8.50).
While most areas have a hunt both Saturday and Sunday, youth hunters may only sign up for one hunt. They are welcome to hunt stand by on the other day.
Hunt Areas and Dates
Baker City Area (private land) - Sept. 27 and Sept. 28
Central Point (Denman Wildlife Area) – Sept. 20 and 21
Corvallis - E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area – Sept. 20, 27 and 28
Eugene - Fern Ridge Wildlife Area – Sept. 13 and 14. No advance registration required.
Irrigon Wildlife Area (between Irrigon and Umatilla) – Sept. 20 and 21, morning and afternoon hunts.
John Day area (private land) – Sept. 13 and 14
Klamath Falls (Klamath Wildlife Area) – Sept. 13 and 14
La Grande - Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area – Sept. 20 and 21
Madras (Willow Creek area) – Sept. 20 and 21
Portland (Sauvie Island Wildlife Area ) – Sept. 20 and 21
The Dalles/Wamic (White River Wildlife Area) – Sept. 27 and 28
Directions for signing up online:
- Go to the license sales page.
- Enter the Hunter/Angler ID (ODFW ID#), last name and Date of Birth of the youth hunter. (If the youth hunter has never purchased an ODFW document, choose “New Customer” under the “Hunter/Angler ID#” drop down arrow.)
- Select green “Register for a Class” tab.
- Verify your customer information.
- Select Youth Upland Hunt tab.
- Select hunt of choice.
- Continue through the checkout process. It is not necessary to bring the receipt to the youth pheasant hunt.
Finally, there will be a Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunt on Sept. 21 at E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area near Corvallis. This event is open to youth who haven’t completed hunter education; a parent or adult age 21 or over must accompany the youth. For mentored youth hunts, the youth hunts on the adult’s license, validation and pheasant tag. For more information on this class, go to ODFW License Sales Page / View Classes / Workshops / Outdoor Skills tab and then select the Sept. 21 “Mentored Youth Pheasant Hunting Workshop” event.