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Special Youth Pheasant Hunts Set For First Weekend Of October

IDAHO FALLS - The world today has changed and hunting isn't as accessible to young people as it used to be. Parents either don't' have the time or lack the hunting skills to pass on to their children. To help reverse this tide, the Idaho Fish & Game Commission has once again made youth pheasant hunting clinics an important priority and set aside special hunting opportunity for young people. While the youth hunts apply statewide, youth are likely to have the best success at IDFG operated wildlife management areas (WMA), where pen-raised pheasants have been purchased from private game farms for release. In the Upper Snake Region, a total of 50 birds have been ordered for release at Market Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Roberts, Idaho. Just last weekend, IDFG hosted a full-scale clinic at Mud Lake WMA to help introduce youth to the exciting sport of waterfowl hunting. The clinic being planned for this Saturday, October 5 at the Market Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will be considerably more informal. Because regulations specify that the hunt cannot start until noon on Saturday in this region, IDFG will have staff available from 9 AM to noon to give some last minute pointers and help youth hone skills by being given the opportunity to shoot at clay targets. The hunt and clinic are free, but youth must still have valid hunting licenses. Possession of a WMA pheasant permit has been waived for the duration of this special hunt. A sponsor who is at least 18 years of age must also be willing to accompany the youth throughout the hunt. Unlike the youth waterfowl hunt, the accompanying adult is not required to have a hunting license. This difference is due to the fact that waterfowl are managed jointly with the Federal government as migratory species and therefore subject to different rules. To help insure a positive first outing, a special area at Market Lake WMA will be set aside for this youth hunt and stocked with the pen-raised pheasants. Only participants of the youth hunts and their guardians will be allowed in the area for the duration of the special season. The special youth hunt in the southern half of the state starts at noon on Saturday, October 5 and runs until one-half hour after sunset that day. It resumes one-half hour before sunset on Sunday, and runs until one-half hour after sunset. The season then closes until the start of the regular season at noon on Saturday, October 19. Normal bag and possession limits are now in place for this hunt. The daily bag limit is 3 cocks; possession limit after the first day of the season is 6 cocks. No harvest of female pheasants is allowed. The new upland game regulations booklets are now available free of charge at any IDFG license vendor, IDFG regional office, or at IDFG's website: www2.state.id.us/fishgame/common/regulations/ug/ug.htm