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Youth pheasant hunter and dog

Hunt Youth Pheasant & Waterfowl Weekend

Montana’s young hunters will have a special treat the weekend of the youth pheasant and waterfowl weekend, Sept. 23 and 24, 2023.

Licensed hunters, 15 and under, will be able to hunt pheasants, ducks, mergansers, geese and coots statewide on these two days.

The two-day youth hunt is open to:

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

  • and 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.

All regulations apply. The Canyon Ferry WMA is an exception— only to the youth waterfowl season shooting hours— they will be one-half hour before sunrise to noon.

Pheasant Release Sites

FWP’s pheasant stocking program releases birds on state lands with suitable habitat around Montana every fall. In 2023, nearly 12,000 birds will be released on wildlife management areas, fishing access sites, and some school trust lands around the state.

Hunter Feedback

This year Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking feedback from upland game bird hunters on our Roosters for Recruitment program. Your feedback will help us continue to evaluate and improve the program. 

Kickoff Events

In anticipation on the youth hunt weekend, several kickoff events are scheduled around the state to prepare youth to be successful in the field.

  • Region 1 in Kalispell, Sept. 19, 5-7:30 p.m.

    • At the Flathead Valley Clay Target Club, 1290 Prairie View Road

    • BBQ, prizes, and shoot shotguns (shotguns, ammo and targets provided)

    • Contact: Dillon Tabish, 406-751-4564

  • Region 2 in Missoula: Sept. 19, 4-8 p.m.

    • At Region 2 Headquarters, 3201 Spurgin Road

    • Outdoor skills and safety fair with emphasis on youth pheasant & waterfowl and bear safety

    • Contact: Vivaca Crowser, 406-542-5518 

  • Region 3 in Helena: Sept. 19, 6-7:30 p.m.

    • At Montana WILD Education Center, 2668 Broadwater Ave., 

    • Safety & regulationss refresher, bird ID, intro to WMAs

    • Contact: Morgan Jacobsen, 406-577-7891

  • Region 4:

    • Lau Shooting Preserve: Sept. 23, 8 a.m.-noon

      • Mentored youth hunt with Pheasants Forever and Goldern Triangle Gun Dog Clubs

      • Advanced Registration Required: Call 406-727-4676 or email to register

    • Freezout Lake WMA: Sept. 23 & 24, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. noon

      • Trap shoot, bird id, safety and regulations refresher

  • Region 5 in Billings: Sept. 9, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.,

    • Private shooting preserve near Billings 

    • Event in conjunction with Yellowstone Valley Pheasants Forever. Youth hunt 12-15 with valid hunting license. Opportunity for youth to shoot pheasants with a hunting mentor and trained bird dog. 

    • Registration Required: Call Chad Hanson 406-860-5145 to register or for more information. 

  • Region 6 in Havre: Sept. 19, 5-7:30 p.m.,

    • Havre Trap Club, 101 Co Rd 802

    • Trap shoot, bird id, safety and regulations, access opportunities

    • Contact: Marc Kloker, 406-942-2974

  • Region 7 in Miles City: Sept. 16, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

    • Custer Rod and Gun Club, 181 Wednesday Dr

    • Pizza, safety refresher, youth trap shoot

    • Registration Required: Call Marla Prell at 406-234-0926 to register or for more information.