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Montana’s young hunters will have the state’s waterfowl and pheasants pretty much to themselves Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25-26.

Licensed hunters ages 15 and under may hunt ducks, geese, coots, mergansers and ring-necked pheasants statewide on these two special days set aside for youngsters, but they must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult.

While the accompanying adult may not shoot, he or she can assist with setting decoys, calling and retrieving.

Prior to the youth hunt opener, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will release 2,700 pheasants on seven wildlife management areas. The WMAs that will receive pheasants include Canyon Ferry and Lake Helena in Region 3, Freezout and Beckman in Region 4, Grant Marsh and Yellowstone in Region 5, and Isaac Homestead in Region 7.

“We’re excited to give our youth hunters this new opportunity for success,” said FWP director Hank Worsech. “As we expand this program in the coming years, it will encourage hunter participation and recruitment across the state.”

The pheasants for the release were purchased with money that is set aside for pheasant stocking through the upland gamebird program.

This program will expand as FWP works with the Montana Department of Corrections to establish a gamebird-raising facility at the Montana State Prison. Birds raised at the prison will be used to stock appropriate state land in future years.

The statewide, two-day youth waterfowl and pheasant hunt is open to:

• legally licensed 12-15-year-olds who have completed hunter education and who are accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age,

• properly certified and legally licensed apprentice hunters 10-15 years of age who are accompanied by a non-hunting adult “mentor” at least 21 years of age.

For more information on youth hunting opportunities, visit

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