Hunters break off into four groups as they search the fields at the Huntington game farm for pheasant.
A special youth pheasant hunt was held for young hunters age 15 and below at the Huntington fish and game farm on Nov. 14. The hunts began at 8 a.m; 11 a.m. and the final hunt at 2 p.m. This gave the Division of Wildlife Resources personnel time to set out new birds between hunts. The pheasants came from the Hatt Ranch in Green River. Each youth hunter was allowed to take two birds. When the pheasants are set out they are spun around a little to make them dizzy so they will stay in one spot and not just fly off so the youth will have the opportunity to harvest the birds. Several of the young hunters brought bird dogs with them and the dogs scouted a little ahead letting the hunters know which bushes contained birds. Youth came from all over the state to participate on this beautiful autumn day in Huntington.
The special youth hunts are a great way to introduce young people to upland game hunting. Earlier in the year chukkar hunts were held as well at places around the state. These special youth hunts have been held in Utah for years.
"Kids really enjoy these hunts," says Dave Olsen, upland game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "They usually have plenty of birds to shoot at, and they don't have to compete with older hunters for a bird."
"The number of young people who hunt in Utah has declined through the years," Olsen says. "We're hoping these youth hunts will help reverse that trend by getting young people into the field and letting them experience what it's like to take an upland game bird.
"The hunts also give us a chance to teach young people how to be responsible and ethical hunters."