FWP News: Youth pheasant, waterfowl weekend starts September 23
By angelamontana

Posted: September 18, 2023

HELENA – Youth hunters can get a head start on pheasant and waterfowl hunting during the 2023 Youth Pheasant and Waterfowl Weekend, which is Sept. 23 and 24. Licensed hunters, 15 and under, will be able to hunt pheasants, ducks, mergansers, geese and coots statewide on these two days.

The two-day youth hunt is open to:

  • legally licensed 12- to 15-year-olds who have completed hunter education and who are accompanied by a non-hunting adult at least 18 years of age,
  • properly certified and legally licensed apprentice hunters 10-15 years of age who are accompanied by a non-hunting adult “mentor” at least 21 years of age.

All regulations apply. The Canyon Ferry Wildlife Management Area hours differ from the regulations for youth waterfowl weekend. They will be one-half hour before sunrise to noon.

Prior to the youth weekend, FWP will release pheasants, raised by Montana Correctional Enterprises, on state-owned lands with suitable pheasant habitat. The purpose of the pheasant release program is to give youth hunters an opportunity to experience hunting success, encouraging their future participation.

The release sites are at the following wildlife management areas (WMAs), fisheries conservation areas (FCA), fishing access sites (FAS) and Department of Natural Resources Conservation (DNRC) lands:

  • Region 1: North Shore WMA, Foys Bend FCA
  • Region 3: Canyon Ferry WMA, Lake Helena WMA
  • Region 4: Freezout Lake WMA, Arod Lakes DNRC, Bullhead Ranch DNRC
  • Region 5: Grant Marsh WMA, Yellowstone WMA, Clark’s Fork of Yellowstone FAS, Selkirk FAS
  • Region 6: Lost River WMA, Fresno Reservoir WMA, Rookery WMA, Dodson Dam WMA, Cree Crossing WMA, Sleeping Buffalo WMA, Hinsdale WMA, Vandalia WMA
  • Region 7: Isaac Homestead WMA, Amelia Island WMA

FWP is hosting several kick-off events that will give young hunters the opportunity to meet with mentors and FWP staff. Events already have occurred in Regions 5 and 7.

The remaining kick-off events are scheduled as follows:

  • Region 1: Sept. 19, 5-8 p.m., Flathead Valley Clay Target Club, 1290 Prairie View Road, Kalispell
  • Region 2: Sept. 19, 4-8 p.m., Region 2 Headquarters, 3201 Spurgin Road, Missoula
  • Region 3: Sept. 19, 6-7:30 p.m., Montana WILD Education Center, 2668 Broadwater Ave., Helena
  • Region 4:
    • Sept. 23, 8 a.m. to noon, Lau Shooting Preserve, registration required
    • Sept. 23, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area, Fairfield
  • Region 6: Sept. 19, 5-7:30 p.m., Havre Trap Club, 101 County Road 802

For more information about these events, including how to register, go to fwp.mt.gov/youth-hunt.


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