This is a big weekend for aspiring young hunters in Montana.

And hopefully, with a few extra birds in the fields, there will be more success and motivation to continue. Let the hunts begin!

The 2022 Youth Pheasant and Waterfowl Weekend is this Saturday and Sunday, September 24 and 25. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks opens the weekend up to  licensed hunters age 15 and under. With required supervision, youngsters will be able to hunt pheasants, ducks, mergansers, geese and coots all across Montana. More on pheasants, shortly.

Montana FWP established a couple of sets of guidelines for these special opportunities for young hunters each year:

The rules require legally licensed hunters, age 12 - 15, to have completed hunter education. And these kids must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult who is at least 18 years of age.

Also, properly certified and legally licensed apprentice hunters age 10 - 15 are eligible, when accompanied by a non-hunting adult "mentor" at least 21 years of age.

The same standards apply to pheasant hunting, and to hopefully sweeten the deal, FWP has release additional pheasants at several wildlife management areas around the state. These are the birds that have been raised at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge, a program that has been building since the cancellation of the prison's dairy cattle enterprise. The objective is to give this weekend's youth hunters a better chance to  experience hunting success, which hopefully encourages more participation in future hunts.

Please remember that all Montana hunting regulations still apply. You can get lots more details on the FWP REGS page.  And good luck to all youth hunters and their mentors.

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