Oregon Youth Get First Shot
at Waterfowl this Weekend
Oregon's youth get a chance to take the first shot at the state's migrating and resident waterfowl this weekend without competition from more-experienced hunters.

Only hunters aged 15 and younger may hunt for legal waterfowl September 23-24 throughout the state.

The statewide youth waterfowl hunt allows experienced hunters to be a mentor to young hunters and provide lessons on shooting skills, ethics and dressing game. Youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult, 21 years or older, who may not hunt.

"The youth hunt is a great opportunity for a close friend or relative to pass on the tradition of hunting to the next generation. These types of hunts are often a young hunter's first introduction to the excitement of hunting," said Eric Rickerson, upland game bird biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

During the youth hunt, all license requirements, season and bag limits apply. This weekend, legal birds include ducks, mergansers, coots and — in much of the state — geese. (Goose hunting is closed in Clatsop, Tillamook, Lincoln, Lane, Benton, Linn, Polk, Marion, Yamhill, Clackamas, Washington, Multnomah and Columbia counties.) Each hunter must have a Hunter Education Certificate, HIP validation, any applicable wildlife area permits, and if 14 years or older, a valid hunting license and state waterfowl validation.

Several other youth hunting opportunities exist in Oregon this year. All remaining waterfowl and upland game bird hunts for youths are summarized below.

* Statewide, September 23-24; 15 and younger
* Fern Ridge Wildlife Area, Nov. 11 and Dec. 27; 17 and younger
* Klamath Wildlife Area, Oct. 21; 17 and younger
* Sauvie Island Wildlife Area, Oct. 21, Nov. 18, Dec. 2 and 30, and
Jan. 13; 17 and younger
* Umatilla National Wildife Refuge, Dec. 2; 10 to 17

* E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area, 70, (541)745-5334, Sept. 23-24;
* Fern Ridge Wildlife Area, 70, (541) 935-2591, Sept. 23-24;
* Denman Wildlife Area, 90, (541) 826-8774, Sept. 23-24;
* Willow Creek Hunt, 80, (541) 447-5111, Sept. 23-24;
* Irrigon Wildlife Area, 100, (541) 276-2344, Sept. 23-24;
* Baker City Area (city-owned land), 30, (541) 963-2138, Sept. 23-24;
* Paul Parker Memorial Hunt,(private land-Malheur Co.),75, (541) 889-2859, Sept. 23-24;
* John Day Area (private land), 30, (541) 575-1167, Sept. 23-24;
* Deep Canyon Area (private land),100, (541) 388-6363, Sept. 23-24;

All hunters are reminded to check the 2000-2001 Game Bird Regulations for specific requirements for all seasons, locations, and bag limits.

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