The popular youth waterfowl hunt has been expanded to two days before the regular duck season begins, and a two-day youth pheasant hunt will be held before that opener.
This year's youth waterfowl hunt will be held September 23-24. In previous years, the youth hunts were held on one day only. The regular duck and goose seasons in most of Idaho will begin October 7. The daily bag limit is the same as in the regular season; seven ducks with not more than one canvasback or pintail, two redheads or female mallards or four scaup.
The pheasant hunt will be held October 7-8, the first full weekend in that month. The upland rules booklet simply says "first weekend in October." The daily bag limit is one cock pheasant. In Area 1 the season begins one-half hour before sunrise; in Areas 2 and 3 the season begins at noon.
Youth hunts have been held for the last several years in Idaho to give hunters aged 12 through 15 the chance to learn the skills and traditions of bird hunting with mentoring, rather than competition, from older hunters. Each youth must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old who is licensed but not allowed to hunt.
The estimate for total numbers of North American ducks is the third highest on record. Record numbers of waterfowl have meant little to Idaho duck hunters in the last two years, however, when fall and winter weather has not been helpful in bringing flights to Idaho. Pheasants are again expected to be more numerous than last year, making these two-day hunts a real chance to teach a youngster about the fun of hunting for Idaho's game birds.