Updated planning guide available for junior pheasant hunt

Harrisburg — While Pennsylvania’s junior pheasant hunt seems
like a long way off, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive
Director Carl G. Roe noted that now is the time for hunting clubs
to make plans to host an organized junior pheasant hunt.

“The future of hunting is directly related to the continuing
participation of young Pennsylvanians,” Roe noted. “The goal is to
successfully compete with all the other activities and recreational
opportunities that vie for a young person’s time. It’s truly a
challenge for the Game Commission, as well as Pennsylvania’s one
million hunters.

“To maximize this opportunity for younger hunters, and to ensure
we pass along the importance of ethics and sound ideals that have
shaped our hunting heritage, the Game Commission and Pheasants
Forever urge local clubs to consider hosting a junior pheasant hunt
in their community.”

Those clubs interested in hosting a junior pheasant hunt are
encouraged to use the 26-page planning guide prepared by the Game
Commission and the Pennsylvania State Chapter of Pheasants Forever.
The booklet offers a step-by-step guide on how to develop an
organized junior pheasant hunt. The guide-book includes: a sample
timeline; suggested committees and assignments; general event
planning considerations; and several sample forms and news
releases. It also includes event evaluation guides so clubs and
organizations may consider changes for future junior pheasant
hunts.

The guide can be viewed on the Game Commission’s website, by
clicking on “Hunting” in the left-hand column of the homepage, then
selecting the pheasant photo and then choosing “Junior Pheasant
Hunt Planning Guide.” Later this year, the agency will update this
section to include a listing of locations that the Game Commission
plans to release birds for the 2009 junior pheasant hunts, as well
as a listing of all the junior pheasant hunts being hosted by local
clubs.

To participate in the junior pheasant hunt, youngsters must be
12 to 16 years of age, and must have successfully completed a basic
Hunter-Trapper Education course. As required by law, an adult must
accompany the young hunters. Participating hunters do not need to
purchase a junior hunting license to take part in the youth
pheasant hunt, but all participants must wear the mandatory 250
square inches of fluorescent orange material on their head, chest
and back combined, visible from 360 degrees.

To bolster participation in the junior pheasant hunt, the Game
Commission again plans to stock pheasants just prior to this
special season. For the 2010 hunt, the agency will release 15,000
birds on lands open to public hunting. These areas will be
identified in the 2010-2011 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and
Trapping Regulations, as well as in future Game Commission news
releases and on the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us).

Additionally, the Game Commission will provide, free of charge,
a limited number of pheasants to those clubs that host a junior
pheasant hunt. Applications must be received by July 31, and the
only two stipulations to be eligible is that clubs must have
registration open to the public and must be held on lands open to
public hunting.

Based on previous surveys, about half of the junior participants
successfully bagged game; a male relative had accompanied most of
them; the majority of participants were between the ages of 12 and
14; and many of them intend to hunt again. The agency also received
many positive comments about the junior hunting opportunity.

Pheasants Forever is a national non-profit habitat conservation
organization with a system of hard-working local chapter volunteers
dedicated to the protection and enhancement of pheasants and other
wildlife populations. Pheasants Forever emphasizes habitat
improvement, public awareness and education, and land management
policies that benefit private landowners and wildlife alike. For
more information, visit the organization’s website
(www.pheasantsforever.org).

Categories: Pennsylvania – Jeff Mulhollem

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