Young Adult Pheasant Hunt
The Next Step for Young Adults Interested in Hunting!
The Massachusetts Young Adult Pheasant Hunt Program was developed by MassWildlife to provide an opportunity for 12-17 year old Hunter Education graduate to practice firearms safety, develop shooting skills, and participate in a special pheasant hunt with a safe, experienced hunter in a friendly environment.
The program is run by participating local sportsmen's clubs. Hunter safety is emphasized in all aspects of the program to help build the confidence of young adult hunters so they may feel comfortable hunting alone or with others in the field. This program is more than just a day of pheasant hunting in the field. It is a comprehensive three part outdoor recreation program:
Part One - Shooting Instruction and Practice. One of the most important elements for becoming a safe and ethical hunter is developing and practicing shooting skills. Young adults will practice the fundamentals of shotgun shooting and firearms safety by receiving hands-on instruction at the club range prior to the hunt.
Part Two - Pre-hunt Workshop. Young adults will have the opportunity to practice all aspects of a safe hunt during a pre-hunt workshop held just prior to the actual pheasant hunt. This will be a hands-on "in the field" session that will include safety exercises such as hunting in a group, zones of fire, crossing safely over obstacles, safely loading and unloading firearms in the field, proper field carries, handling and operating firearms safely, shoot/don't shoot scenarios and hunter ethics. In addition, the pre-hunt workshop will cover the basics on firearms for upland hunting, ammunition, gear, clothing, and other equipment typically used in upland hunting.
Part Three - Young Adult Pheasant Hunt. The program culminates with a day in the field pheasant hunting in a relaxed and friendly environment under the watchful eye of a safe, responsible, experienced hunter. It is an opportunity to experience the enjoyment and excitement of watching a dog working a bird; the thrill of seeing a pheasant flush from cover and taking the shot, and then cleaning and cooking the day's harvest.
Who may sign up for the Program?
Young women and men ages 12-17 who have successfully completed the Massachusetts Hunter Education Program are eligible to participate in the program. A Firearms Identification Card (FID) and hunting license is required for all young adults between the ages of 15 to 17. Young adults 12 to 14 years of age do not need a license or FID card.
Are there any costs or fees to participate in the Program?
There are no costs to participae in this program. Safety glasses, hearing protection and hunter orange caps and vests will be provided free of charge. Clubs may, however, ask for a nominal donation to cover costs for such things as lunch, refreshments, clay targets or ammunition.
When does the Program take place?
Part 1 of the Program; shooting instruction and practice, will take place during the summer or early fall. Part 2, the pre-hunt workshop will be held a week or two before the young adult pheasant hunt. The actual hunt (Part 3) will be scheduled by a participating club for one of 6 Saturdays prior to the October start of the regular pheasant hunting season.
Where can young adults sign up to participate in the Program?
Contact your local sportsmen's club to see if it offers this program. A list below shows what clubs are participating in the program or contact your local MassWildlife District Office.
The Mass. Young Adult Pheasant Program was developed for Sportsmens Clubs & Related Groups to:
- Provide interested young adults with an opportunity to practice skills (learned in the Hunter Education course) in a program that includes shotgun shooting, pre-hunt field practicum and culminating in a pheasant hunt while supervised by responsible, licensed adult hunters in an enjoyable environment.
- Provide local sporting clubs who want to pass on the traditions of hunting and the great outdoors with tools and guidance in implementing a successful young adult hunting experience.
Massachusetts Young Adult Pheasant Hunt Program Planning Guide --This document includes:
Introduction and purpose of the program,
Survey results showing what elements are needed for a successful experience
Suggestions on how to run the various parts of the workshop
Tips for a successful experience
Sample schedules, activities and
Application forms for program participation.
NOTE: DEADLINE TO SUBMIT PAPERWORK IS JUNE 30.
Young Adult Pheasant Hunt dates for 2011:
Sept 3, 10, 17, 24 and October 1, 8
The MassWildlife District office that serves your community can answer questions applying to run the Massachusetts Young Adult Pheasant Hunt at your club:
Central - West Boylston (508) 835-3607
Connecticut Valley - Belchertown (413) 323-7632
Northeast - Ayer (978) 772-2145
Southeast - Bourne (508) 759-3406
Western - Dalton (413) 684-1646
This program is made possible by funding from the 2003 Hunting Heritage Partnership, a grant program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.