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Deadline for MN Youth/Women Pheasant Hunt Applications Fast Approaching

Interested youth and women can apply by Sept. 7th for a chance to step into the field with an experienced guide this fall and, hopefully, step out carrying a pheasant. The Mentored Youth/Women Pheasant Hunt, sponsored by Pheasants Forever, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and partners will take place on Saturday, October 22nd at locations throughout Minnesota. The goal of this program is to provide an opportunity for inexperienced youth and women to have a safe and enjoyable first upland hunting experience.

"We're on a very short timeline for people to get registered for this fall's youth hunts," said Mike Kurre, mentoring program coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "But these are outdoor opportunities youth and their parents won't want to miss." This year, partners also include the Ruffed Grouse Society and Woodcock Minnesota, as hunt opportunities have been expanded to include upland hunting experiences throughout the state.

Last year, more than 200 youth and women participated in the event through the DNR-Pheasants Forever partnership, and the hope is to increase that number this year. "Hunting is really just one part of the experience," said Eran Sandquist, Pheasants Forever Regional Wildlife Biologist in northern Minnesota, "Our goal is to provide a safe environment where youth and women can learn about all the aspects that go into creating a successful pheasant hunt, from talking to landowners, to learning about habitat, to working with bird dogs. Requiring a parent or guardian to accompany youth participants also provides social support for the new experience."

Apply for the Mentored Youth/Women Pheasant Hunt

Lottery applications for the hunt are available here, or by contacting the DNR Information Center at 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367), and must be submitted to the DNR no later than September 7th. Applicants must specify in which county they'd like to hunt by referring to a list of counties provided on the application. Mentors from Pheasant Forever chapters throughout Minnesota will be paired with youth hunters and their guardians. After scouting places to hunt and securing landowner permission when necessary, mentors will take participants into the field.

To Be Eligible for the Mentored Youth/Women Pheasant Hunt

To participate, youth must be 12-17 and possess a valid firearms safety certificate and purchase valid game licenses. A parent or guardian must accompany the youth at all times and participate in all hunt meetings and activities. Women 18 and older may participate without a guardian provided they have a valid firearms safety certificate or apprentice hunter validation and all appropriate game licenses.

Landowners Needed for Mentored Youth/Women Pheasant Hunt

To create more hunting opportunities for more youth, Pheasants Forever is seeking permission to conduct the youth hunt on additional private land. Those who have pheasant-friendly property or know someone who does are asked to contact Pheasants Forever's Eran Sandquist at (763) 242-1273 or Email Eran.

The winner's notice will contain specific information about hunting license requirements, equipment and contact information for the hunt coordinator. Winners must contact their hunt coordinator after receiving their notice. Applicants will be randomly drawn by lottery to participate in the county of their choice, but priority will be given to participants who have not been pheasant, grouse or woodcock hunting before or with this program in the past.

Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 130,000 members and 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent - the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure.