Youth hunt kickoff events upcoming

The 2023 Youth Pheasant and Waterfowl Weekend is approaching and several kick-off events are scheduled around the state.

To get interested hunters prepared for the youth weekend, which is Sept. 23 and 24, the events will provide an opportunity to meet with mentors and FWP staff.

Prior to the youth weekend, FWP will release pheasants, raised by Montana Correctional Enterprises, on state-owned lands with suitable pheasant habitat. The purpose of the pheasant release program is to give youth hunters an opportunity to experience hunting success, encouraging their future participation, according to FWP.

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

The two-day youth hunt is open to:

  • legally licensed 12- to 15-year-olds who have completed hunter education and who are accompanied by a non-hunting 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.

All regulations apply.

The Canyon Ferry Wildlife Management Area hours differ from the regulations for youth waterfowl weekend. They will be one-half hour before sunrise to noon.

The kick-off events in the Great Falls area are:

  • Sept. 23, 8 a.m. to noon, Lau Shooting Preserve, registration required
  • Sept. 23, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area, Fairfield

For more information about these events, including how to register, go to