Youth hunters (age 17 and under) can sign up for free upland bird hunts taking place at 12 locations across the state in September.
To register, sign up online, at a license sales agent, or at an ODFW office that sells licenses. (Two of the locations, Fern Ridge and Ladd Marsh wildlife areas, don’t require advance registration.) The hunts are free, though youth hunters need a valid hunting license ($14.50) and upland game bird validation ($8.50) to hunt. Only youth already certified in hunter education are eligible to participate.
New this year, registration is through the license sales system rather than by phone and opens in early August rather than Sept. 2, which should give kids and their families more time to plan. Call the numbers listed with each hunt below if you need more information about a particular hunt.
To sign up online, do the following:
- 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.
ODFW and partners stock pheasants at these special hunts that give youth a head start on regular hunting seasons. Quail and dove can also be hunted. All regular bag limits apply. (Bag limits will be listed in the 2012-13 Oregon Game Bird Regulations available later in August.)
Most clinics begin with a free shotgun skills training session and have trained hunting dogs and their handlers available to accompany participants at the event.
An adult 21 years of age or older must accompany the youth to supervise but not hunt. Both hunter and supervisor must wear a hunter orange hat, eye protection and a hunter orange vest—equipment provided by ODFW to anyone that doesn’t have it. Hunters need to check in and out of the hunt. Only federally-approved, non-toxic shot is acceptable for use in many places; see pages 22-23 of the 2012-13 Oregon Game Bird Regulations (available later in August) for more information.
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.
- Baker City – Sept. 8, 9. Call 541-963-2138 for more information.
- Corvallis (Monmouth), EE Wilson Wildlife Area, Sept. 15, 16, 22, 23. Call tel. 541-745-5334 for more information.
- Eugene (Fern Ridge Wildlife Area): Sept. 8, 9. No advance registration needed, hunters can begin checking in at 6:30 a.m. at check station in Nielsen Rd parking lot. Call 541-935-2591 for more information.
- Irrigon (Umatilla County): Sept. 22, 23. Call 541-276-2344 for more information.
- John Day: Sept. 15, 16. Call 541-575-1167 for more information.
- Klamath Falls (Klamath Wildlife Area): Sept. 8, 9. Call 541-883-5732 for more information.
- La Grande (Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area): Sept. 15, 16. No advanced registrations needed, just check in at HQ, 59116 Pierce Rd. Check in opens 7 a.m. and hunting hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Medford/White City: Denman Wildlife Area: Sept. 15, 16. Call tel. 541-826-8774 for more information.
- Madras (Willow Creek): Sept. 15, 16. Call tel. 541-447-5111 for more information.
- Ontario: Sept. 8, 9. Call tel. 541-889-6975 for more information.
- Portland (Sauvie Island Wildlife Area): Sept. 15, 16. Call tel. 503-621-3488 for more information.
- Mid-Columbia (White River Wildlife Area, Tygh Valley): Sept. 8, 9. Call tel. 541-296-4628 for more information.
Image courtesy of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife