The Massachusetts Youth Pheasant Hunt Program was developed by MassWildlife to provide an opportunity for Hunter Education graduates aged 12 to 17 to practice firearms safety, develop shooting skills, and participate in a special pheasant hunt under the guidance of an experienced adult hunter.
The program is divided into multiple parts:
- Seminar and Range Practice: Participants get hands-on instruction in shotgun shooting fundamentals and firearm safety, learn upland hunting basics, and focus on how to have a safe and fun hunt.
- Pheasant Hunt: Participants get to experience a real pheasant hunt under the supervision of an experienced hunter on 1 of the 6 Saturdays prior to the regular pheasant season. This year, the pheasant hunting season starts on October 14, 2023.
- Be between the ages of 12 to 17
- Have graduated from a Basic Hunter Education course (in any state) before the day of the hunt
- Participants 15 to 17 years of age must have a hunting license, a pheasant/quail permit and a Firearms Identification Card (FID). Note: An FID is only required if using a shotgun.
- Make sure you meet all the requirements above
- Register for the Program by August 31, 2023
- Complete the Seminar and Range Practice
- Have a great day hunting pheasants! Please note, all other regular pheasant hunting regulations apply including bag limits, hunting implements, hunter orange requirements, etc. Please review pheasant hunting regulations.
Find a participating club
Several sporting clubs across the state offer the Youth Pheasant Hunt Program which includes a seminar and a mentored hunt. You do not need to be a member of the club to participate in the seminar or the hunt. All participants must complete the seminar before the day of the hunt.
View a list of participating clubs on the Youth Pheasant Program registration page.
Attention sporting clubs
The Youth Pheasant Hunt Program was developed for sporting clubs and 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.
If you have questions about the program, please contact MassWildlife's Field Headquarters at (508) 389-6300.
The MassWildlife District office that serves your community can answer questions about possible locations for the Youth Pheasant Hunt if you do not want to hold the hunt at your club:
- Central District: West Boylston (508) 835-3607
- Connecticut Valley District: Belchertown (413) 323-7632
- Northeast District: Ayer (978) 772-2145
- Southeast District: Bourne (508) 759-3406
- Western District: Dalton (413) 684-1646