Mentored Pheasants Hunts Oct. 12-19
Inside the Outdoors, October 18
, 2013

The week of Oct. 12-19 is an open season for junior hunters to pursue pheasants. A youth must be 12 to 16 years old and accompanied by an adult as required by law. A hunting license is not required, but the youngster must have successfully completed a Hunter Trapper Education Course and abide by the same bag limits and regulations governing “Male Only Pheasant Wildlife Management Units” during the regular season.

About 3,000 pheasants, in addition to those already dispersed by the state for other hunting, will be stocked throughout the Commonwealth as part of the Junior Pheasant hunt Program. Various sportsmen’s groups across the state will organize one day junior pheasant hunts to teach new hunters the sport.

Kingston Veteran’s Sportsman’s Club, Latrobe, for example, held their one day junior hunt day last weekend. Thanks to one of the regular contributors, Mark Boerio, owner and operator of the Army and Navy Store in Latrobe, he pitched in to help make the event again successful. Other contributors included KVS, Pheasants Forever, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in addition to all the volunteers who gave of their time to help out.

All junior hunters had to follow state regulations, including the amount of orange they had to wear. Two birds were allowed to be harvested which the youth took home to eat. The weapons permitted were shotguns.

In addition, dog handlers with as many as two dogs accompanied each team. When released, the animals would help flush the birds out of the bush prompting the pheasant to take flight. When they did, the youth would take aim, zero in on them and fire their guns at will.

The game birds are transported to different designations by an ATV manned by two club members aboard. Upon arrival, they will daze the birds by twirling them around in circles and then planting them somewhere in a brushy path where they usually remain until flushed out by the dogs.

According to Dr. Phillip Westerbeck, club veteran, dog handler and part owner of West-Land Chiropractic Clinic in Latrobe, “On a warm day, when the sun is shining and conditions are dry, when dogs flush out the birds, they will take flight. If the day is rainy and damp, they will most likely run,” he stated.

All in all, the youth had a challenging time with memories they will hold onto for years to come.

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Just happened upon this information recently while reading about trapping. By law, all first-time hunters and trappers, regardless of age, must successfully complete a Hunter-Trapper Education course before they can buy a license. A training certificate, which is recognized through North America, is awarded at the end of a course. The training consists of two parts: online independent study and classroom training. Prior to attending a class, one must complete online independent study which will take approximately four hours. The classroom training sessions last six hours and one is required to pass a certification exam at the end of the class.

To register for classes and to access the online training log onto: www.pgc.state.pa.us and click on the Hunter-Trapper Education Classes link. Current scheduled classes for Westmoreland County are listed at three different locations, Mt. Pleasant, the Pennsylvania Game Commission office in Bolivar and in Donegal.

Those wishing to learn more may either do so by logging on to the PGC website or contacting Matt Thomas concerning the Mt. Pleasant training at 724.244.0127; Wildlife Conservation Officer Brian Singer at 724.238.9523, the PGC representative or Jason Farabaugh, heading up the schooling in Donegal at 724.238.9523.

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Finally, hats off to David Ridilla! Recently he posted his success on Facebook whereby he got his deer in short order on the first day of archery season. As he stated, “This was the shortest hunting season of my life. It started at 6:45 and was over by 7:05 a.m. But the real story is that my son, Adam, had this 8-point patterned and he insisted that I hunt his spot. I wasn’t sure if I would have the strength and energy to make it through this hunting season, but he made it very easy for me. Thank you Adam. You are the best son a father could ever ask for. Love you, buddy.”

I am looking forward to more success stories. Email them to me at www.peevee73@verizon.net. Looking forward to sharing them with others.


- Paul J. Volkmann
Contact me by email

To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.