Youth hunters (age 17 and under) can sign up for free upland bird hunts being planned at 12 locations across the state in September (Baker City, Central Point, Corvallis, Eugene, John Day, Klamath Falls, La Grande, Madras, Ontario, Pendleton, Portland, The Dalles).
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 can also be hunted during the events.
“If your child made it through hunter education but is still new to the sport, this is a great way to get them started,” explained 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.”
Only youth already certified in hunter education are eligible to participate in these hunts. 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 at the clinics to anyone that 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 of the 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 and over also need an upland game bird validation ($8.50).
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.
Some clinics begin with a free shotgun skills clinic; call the event contact number below for more information.
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.
Phone numbers provided are for more information only; youth must register for the hunts online or at a license sales agent.
- Baker City (Baldock Slough Wetlands Project) – Sept. 21, 22. Call 541-523-5832 for more information.
- Central Point: Denman Wildlife Area: Sept. 14, 15. Call tel. 541-826-8774 for more information.
- Corvallis (Monmouth), EE Wilson Wildlife Area, Sept. 14, 21, 22. Call tel. 541-745-5334 for more information.
- Eugene (Fern Ridge Wildlife Area): Sept. 7, 8. No advance registration needed, hunters can begin checking in at 7 a.m. at check station in Nielsen Rd parking lot. Call 541-935-2591 for more information.
- John Day: Sept. 14, 15. Meet at Prairie Wood Products in Prairie City. Call 541-575-1167 for more information.
- Klamath Falls (Klamath Wildlife Area): Sept. 7, 8. Hunters will be assigned to one of three areas. Call 541-883-5732 for more information.
- La Grande (Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area): Sept. 14, 15. 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.
- Madras (Willow Creek): Sept. 14, 15. Sign up for early, mid-morning, or afternoon start time. Call tel. 541-447-5111 for more information.
- Ontario (Rogers Wildlife Area, 6 miles south of Nyssa): Sept. 14, 15. Sign up for start time staggered every two hours. Call tel. 541-889-6975 for more information.
- Pendleton (Irrigon Wildlife Area in Irrigon): Sept. 21, 22; sign up for morning or afternoon hunt. Call 541-276-2344 for more information.
- Portland (Sauvie Island Wildlife Area): Sept. 14, 15. Call tel. 503-621-3488 for more information.
- The Dalles (White River Wildlife Area, Tygh Valley), Sept. 21, 22. Call tel. 541-296-4628 for more information.
Logo courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife