Junior hunters this fall will get two shots at taking part in a special pheasant hunt just for them.
In an effort to better accommodate the busy schedules families often have, the Pennsylvania Game Commission this year is allowing the sportsmen’s clubs that host junior pheasant hunts some leeway in planning their events.
In previous years, all Junior Pheasant Hunt events statewide were held on the same Saturday. But this year, clubs are permitted to host events on either Saturday in the junior pheasant season.
And some clubs have responded by scheduling two events – one each on Oct. 12 and Oct. 19.
“We’re glad to see clubs stepping up to meet the growing interest our junior hunters have demonstrated,” Game Commission executive director Carl G. Roe said.
Junior pheasant hunts are events for youngsters between the ages of 12 and 16 years old who have successfully completed a Hunter-Trapper Education course. The events are held on Saturdays during the one-week junior pheasant season, which this year runs from Saturday, Oct. 12 to Saturday, Oct. 19.
Junior pheasant hunts all are held on lands open to public hunting, and the Game Commission provides clubs with about 3,000 pheasants to stock for the hunts. The commission stocks another 15,000 pheasants statewide ahead of the junior season, and this year plans to release more than 200,000 pheasants across Pennsylvania.
Youngsters taking part in a junior pheasant hunt event are not required to purchase a license, but they must wear the necessary amount of fluorescent orange and be accompanied by an adult as required by law.
Juniors who register to hunt in a special event, or who otherwise hunt pheasants in the junior season, must adhere to Pennsylvania’s long-standing daily bag limit of two pheasants and may only harvest cock pheasants in select wildlife management units.
Roe urged youngsters interested in taking part in a junior pheasant hunt to register soon. Space is limited for most events, and the registration deadline is Sept. 25.
“Ask anyone who has been involved in our junior pheasant hunts and they’ll tell you there’s really not a better opportunity out there for young hunters to get a taste of excitement and success afield,” Roe said. “Don’t wait until it’s too late to sign up.”
Those looking to register for events, can click on the junior pheasant hunt button on the home page of the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). Registration can be completed online.
Information on junior pheasant hunts also can be found by scrolling the cursor over “Education” in the menu bar at the top of the home page, then following this sequence: Click on “Go Hunting and Shooting,” then “Youth Programs,” then “Junior Pheasant Hunt Program.”
Central Susquehanna Pheasants Forever will host its junior pheasant hunt on State Game Lands 226 near Millville for 15 juniors on Oct. 12. Register online at www.register-ed.com/events/view/35797. The deadline to register is Sept. 10.
Northeast PA Chapter of Pheasants Forever Chapter 803 will host its junior pheasant hunt on SGL 119 near Bear Creek for 45 juniors on Oct. 12. Register online at www.register-ed.com/events/view/33028. The deadline to register is Sept. 25.
United Sportsmens Camp 271 will host its junior pheasant hunt near Shickshinny for 30 juniors on Oct. 19. Register online at www.register-ed.com/events/view/35059. The deadline to register is Sept. 25.