With today’s youth spending less and less time enjoying the great outdoors, a fall pheasant hunt is a wonderful way to get kids hooked on hunting while connecting them to Idaho’s amazing wildlife resource.
The first weekend in October marks the Youth Pheasant Hunt Season opener statewide. All licensed hunters 17 years of age or younger can participate in the 2019 youth hunt season from October 5 through October 11 provided they are accompanied in the field by an adult 18 years or older. (Please note that an adult may not accompany more than two youth at a time.) Statewide the youth hunt season begins one-half hour before sunrise.
Here in the Southeast Region, one of the best places to hunt pheasant is the Sterling Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Aberdeen which offers excellent pheasant habitat and premier opportunities for both the beginner and seasoned hunter. Idaho Fish and Game will be releasing nearly 3,000 pheasants across Sterling WMA during the pheasant hunting season this fall.
For the youth hunt season in 2019, Idaho Fish and Game has selected three main areas for pheasant releases at Sterling WMA. General release locations can be found on signs at the WMA. A map of the locations is also included on Idaho Fish and Game’s Southeast Idaho webpage https://idfg.idaho.gov/region/southeast and on the Idaho Fish and Game Southeast Region Facebook page.
“This doesn’t mean that hunters can’t hunt all of Sterling WMA during the youth hunt,” says Regional Habitat Biologist, Maria Pacioretty. “There are wild birds that hunters could kick up just about anywhere on the WMA, but for the youth hunt season we are only stocking in three locations.”
General pheasant seasons for all hunters kick-off statewide later in October, with start dates, times, and season lengths varying by area. In Area 2, which includes the southeast portion of the state, the general 2019 season runs October 19 through November 30.
Daily bag limits also vary by area, so be sure to check the upland game rules and seasons for information pertaining to hunting pheasants in your neck of the woods.
Remember that all upland game and upland bird hunters are required to wear visible hunter orange (minimum of 36 square inches) above the waist during pheasant season when hunting on a WMA, such as Sterling, where pheasants are stocked. A hunter orange hat meets this requirement.
Hunting pheasants on the following WMAs requires a WMA pheasant permit for those 18 years and older: Fort Boise, Payette River, Montour, C.J. Strike, Sterling, Market Lake, Mud Lake, Cartier Slough, and Niagara Springs. These permits can be purchased at any vendor or Fish and Game regional office.
Information about Idaho’s WMAs can be found on Fish and Game’s website at https://idfg.idaho.gov/wma, or stop by your nearest Fish and Game office for a brochure on a WMA in your area.
No need to wait for the deer opener next week… get your kids and your four-legged hunting buddies out this weekend for some pheasant hunting fun!