Interested youth and women can apply by Sept. 10 for a chance to step into the field with an experienced guide this fall and step out carrying pheasants. The Pheasants Forever (PF) special mentored youth hunt is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and takes place on Oct. 20.
Mentors from Pheasants Forever chapters throughout Minnesota will be paired with youth hunters and their guardians. After scouting places to hunt and securing landowner permission when necessary, mentors will take participants into the field.
“This great opportunity will put rookie youth or inexperienced women on the fast track into the hunting world and show them with a hands-on approach about hunting techniques, outdoor skills, safety and how wildlife habitat plays a big part in upland bird management,” said Mike Kurre, DNR Mentoring Program Coordinator. “The adventure also will provide lifelong memories, potentially a new hunting partner and a better appreciation of the outdoors.”
To participate in the lottery, youth must be 12-17 years old as of Oct. 20; have earned a valid firearms safety certificate; possess a small game license; and have a parent, guardian or adult authorized by a parent or guardian accompany them as a non-firearms carrying mentor to join the youth at a pre-hunt orientation as well as the hunt. Free small game licenses are available to a youth younger than 16 at any licensing agent. Reduced-fee licenses also are available for youth 16 and 17.
All applicants must specify in which county or area they want to hunt, if they are willing to travel farther if their choice of area is not available and how far they are willing to travel. Parents and guardians must accompany youth at all times and at all events. Women 18 and older do not need a parent or guardian to accompany them but will need a valid firearms safety certificate or an apprentice hunter validation certification, pheasant stamp and small game license.
Applications are due Monday, Sept. 10. They are available online here or by contacting the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367. Successful applicants will be notified via mail or email by the end of September.
The winner’s notice will contain specific information about hunting license requirements, equipment and contact information of the hunt coordinator. Youth and women winners must contact their hunt coordinator after receiving their notice.
Landowners with pheasant producing property interested in allowing youth or novice women to hunt on their land can help out by contacting Eran Sandquist, Pheasants Forever Regional Wildlife Biologist, at 763-242-1273 or E-mail Eran.
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 135,000 members and 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent, the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure.
Images courtesy of Pheasants Forever