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News Articles

25
HARRISBURG, Pa

-- While the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners just gave approval to the 2006 youth pheasant hunt -
Oct. 7-13 - Carl G. Roe, agency executive director, noted that now is the
time for hunting clubs interested in hosting a youth pheasant hunt to begin
making plans. In addition to the 15,000 birds that the agency plans to
release statewide prior to the opening of youth season, Roe has pledged to
reinstate the set-aside of an extra 1,500 birds for clubs that host a youth
pheasant hunt.
"The future of hunting is directly related to the continuing
participation of young Pennsylvanians in our hunting seasons," Roe noted.
"The goal is to make hunting a priority among all the other activities and
recreational opportunities that vie for a teenager's time. It's truly a
challenge for the Game Commission, as well as Pennsylvania's more than a
million hunters.
"To maximize this opportunity for young hunters, and to ensure we pass
along the ethics and ideals of our hunting heritage, the Game Commission
and Pheasants Forever urge local clubs to consider hosting a youth pheasant
hunt for the young people in their community."
Those clubs interested in hosting a youth 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 youth pheasant hunt, and
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 youth pheasant hunts.
The manual can be viewed on the Game Commission's website
(http://www.pgc.state.pa.us), by clicking on "Forms & Programs" and then
selecting "Youth Pheasant Hunt Planning Guide." In addition to the planning
guide, the upcoming 2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping
Regulations will feature a listing of all locations that the Game
Commission plans to stock for the youth pheasant hunt.
To participate in the youth pheasant hunt, youngsters must be 12 to 16
years of age, and must have successfully completed a 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
head, chest and back combined, visible from 360 degrees.
The 1,500 pheasants that the agency will provide for sportsmen's clubs
sponsored youth pheasant hunts will be offered on a first-come,
first-served basis. Roe noted that the set-aside for clubs was cut from
last year's budget due to fiscal issues.
"While the agency's financial situation remains a concern, providing
pheasants to clubs sponsoring youth pheasant hunts is a wise investment,"
Roe said.
To qualify, clubs and organizations must sign up before July 31 with
the Game Commission to host a youth pheasant hunt. The only two
stipulations to be eligible for clubs to receive Game Commission birds are
that these hunts must have registration open to the public and must be held
on public lands or private lands enrolled in one of the Game Commission's
Cooperative Public Access Programs. Applications are available as part of
the Youth Pheasant Hunting Planning Guide, or by going to the "Forms &
Programs" section of the agency's homepage (http://www.pgc.state.pa.us) and
clicking on "Youth Pheasant Hunt Application."
Additionally, to maximize potential participation, the Game Commission
will post on its website all club-sponsored youth pheasant hunts.
"Holding concurrent youth seasons for squirrels and ring-necked
pheasants will offer variety to youths who participate in these small
game-hunting opportunities," Roe said. "The state's long-standing
two-pheasant daily bag limit will apply to junior hunters participating in
the season. In addition, depending on the area they are hunting, juniors
will be required to comply with restrictions on hunting male or female
pheasants."
Roe also noted that, on April 18, the Board of Game Commissioners gave
preliminary approval to regulations establishing the Mentored Youth Hunting
Program, which will enable youth under 12 years of age to hunt under the
close supervisor of a mentor. To take effect next license year, the Board
must give final approval to the package in June.
While pheasants will not be legal game as part of the Mentored Youth
Hunting Program, the Board did identify as legal game for the 2006-07
license year the following species: squirrels, woodchucks (groundhogs) and
the spring gobbler. Antlered deer will be included in the 2007-08 seasons.
For more information on the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, please visit
the Game Commission's website (http://www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on
"Release #048- 06" in the "Newsroom" section.
Other recent Game Commission initiatives to promote youth hunting
opportunities include an expanded youth squirrel hunt; a youth spring
gobbler hunt; expanded youth waterfowl hunts; special antlerless deer
hunts; and youth field day events. Also, as part of the license fee
increase approved in 1998, the General Assembly created a junior
combination license that packages regular license privileges with archery,
flintlock and furtaking opportunities for $9, compared to $39 if the
necessary licenses were purchased separately.
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.

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