Junior Pheasant Hunts: The Rush of the Flush

There is something special about being afield during October in pursuit of wily Ring-necked Pheasants, joined by family members.
Photo by Derek Stoner.

A sudden turn by the German Short-haired Pointer indicates the presence of a pheasant… and close. The dog’s body turns into a statue as it locks into a classic point. There is no doubt that lurking in the grass is the gamebird that brought together the dog, its handler, and the young hunter anticipating an eruption of feathers from the dense vegetation. All three observers are participating in the Junior Pheasant Hunt experience which serves up the rush of the flush.

The sight of a pointing dog locked onto the scent of a pheasant hiding in the foxtail field is exciting for the upland hunter.
Photo by Derek Stoner

Youth hunters aged 12 to 16 are invited each Fall to register for Junior Pheasant Hunts, which are free events that take place on Saturdays in October on public hunting grounds throughout Pennsylvania. Teams of mentors are on hand with their hunting dogs, ready to help these youngsters experience an outstanding hunt in the uplands. The pheasants are provided by the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s game farms, with funding support coming from the Pittman-Robertson Act excise tax on hunting and shooting equipment purchased in Pennsylvania.

A rocketing rooster takes flight above a young hunter on a Junior Pheasant Hunt, with the guide and dog helping with the flush.
Photo by Derek Stoner.

Upland hunting provides a fun, social environment with plenty of action and movement. Following the dogs in the field and watching them do their work is what motivates many people to take up the pursuit of pheasants and other game birds. Watching youth hunters in the field with their parents right beside them showcases the importance of support in the process of building a new hunter.

If you know a young hunter aged 12 to 16 who would like to participate in a Junior Pheasant Hunt, consider signing them up at the official Registration Page. Hunts in Fall 2021 will be held on Saturdays, October 9 and 16, 2021.

Once the regular pheasant season opens on Saturday, October 23, junior hunters are of course welcome to hunt any time with adults accompanying them afield. If you know a youth hunter– or any new hunter no matter their age– why not introduce them to the thrill of pheasant hunting this season?

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