A special youth-only pheasant hunting weekend will be held in western New York from October 8-9, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The Youth-Only Pheasant Weekend helps acclimate young hunters to hunting upland birds when fewer hunters are in the field and to learn safe hunting skills and values from experienced hunters.
The hunt will take place one week before the regular pheasant hunting season and will give young hunters (ages 12-15) the opportunity to hunt pheasants with a licensed adult chaperone. The 2022-23 pheasant regular season begins on October 15.
In Cattaraugus County, four areas will stock up on pheasants shortly before that weekend:
The Conewango Swamp Wildlife Management Area between Route 241 and Conewango Creek; the Red House area of Allegany State Park along Wolf Run Road (free permit required from Asp Administration Building); Harwood Lake Multi-Use Area near Farmersville (no special permit required for youth hunting); and the Allegheny Reservoir WMA in the vicinity of Bone Run on Onoville Road.
In Allegany County, three Wildlife Management Areas will be stocked with pheasants. Is it so:
Hanging Bog WMA along New Hudson Road in the City of New Hudson; Klipnocky State Forest (NE corner of Gas Springs Road/Roots Road) in the city of Almond; and the Keeney Swamp WMA on Route 15B (in the north parking area) in the town of Birdsall.
Young hunters must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter during the young pheasant hunt. Accompanying adults may not possess a firearm or capture a pheasant during this special season. During the two-day youth hunt, youth hunters will be allowed to take two birds per day, as is allowed during the regular season.
Pheasant hunting limit descriptions can be found on page 43 of the 2022-23 Hunting and Trapping Regulation Guide. All other pheasant hunting regulations remain in effect.
Approximately 889 adult roosters and hens will be stocked in DEC Region 9 immediately prior to the youth hunting weekend. All birds will be provided by the DEC Reynolds Game Farm. See the attached table for a summary of release sites in each county.
Young hunters wishing to hunt pheasants in Allegany State Park must obtain a free hunting permit from the park administration building near Redhouse Lake before hunting in the park. For questions about hunting pheasants in Allegany State Park, call (716) 354-9121.
Questions about juvenile pheasant hunting can be directed to the DEC Office of Wildlife at (716) 851-7010 in Buffalo or (716) 372-0645 in Allegany.
The annual New York Junior Big Game takes place October 8-10, for hunters ages 12-15. Under legislation passed in 2021, 12- and 13-year-old hunters can hunt deer with a firearm during youth hunting and other gun seasons in upstate counties that have passed a local law allowing their participation .
Currently, the list of counties that have passed such a local law includes all counties north of Westchester County, with the exception of Erie and Rockland counties.
During this special opportunity, licensed children ages 12-15 can use a firearm to hunt large game while accompanied by an experienced, licensed adult hunter. All eligible junior hunters may take a deer of either sex and 14 and 15 year olds may also take a bear. During the youth hunt, antlerless deer taken with a firearm may be tagged with a regular season tag, DMP, or a Deer Management Assistance Program tag.
Antlered deer can only be tagged with the regular season tag. Although junior hunters may have multiple deer tags, they may only take one deer with a firearm during the junior hunt.
Most small game hunting seasons open this Saturday throughout New York State. Season dates, bag limits, and other hunting regulations for New York small game species are available in the Guide to Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which can be obtained from a licensing agent or on the website of the DEC.