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Young hunters will get first shot at pheasants

Hunters 15 years old and younger will get a chance this Saturday to hunt the popular game birds.

Young hunters in Castle Country will be the first to pursue Utah's most popular upland game bird this fall. Those who are15 years of age or younger can shoot pheasants during Utah's second annual youth pheasant and quail hunting day that occurs on Oct. 13. Quail can also be taken that day. After Oct. 13, the pheasant and quail hunt will close until Nove. 3, when the hunt will reopen for hunters of all ages.

Jason Robinson, upland game coordinator for the DWR, says holding special youth days-before the birds have been hunted and when adults aren't allowed to hunt-is a great way to get young people interested in hunting. Many people who are hunters today got interested by hunting upland game when they were younger."

Since adults can't hunt the same species the youth are hunting, it gives adults plenty of time to help young hunters learn about the habitats pheasants prefer and how to handle their firearm safely.

To participate in the youth hunt, a hunter must be 15 years of age or younger on Oct. 13 and be a graduate of Utah's Hunter Education course.

He or she also needs a hunting license.

Division of Wildlife Resources biologists will plant 100 rooster pheasants during the week just before the youth hunting day. Fifty pheasants will be released at Desert Lake near Elmo and another 50 at the Huntington Game Farm (Huntington Wildlife Management Area), which is north of the town of Huntington. This will ensure that young persons will have the chance to hunt and shoot pheasants without the competition posed by adult hunters.

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