Youth pheasant hunt still a big hit

When I was a kid growing up in the Rogue Valley, we used to like to go to the Denman Wildlife Area during the youth pheasant hunt. I read the Mail Tribune's Oregon Outdoors section online and noticed a few weeks ago that the hunt is still going on and that it was Sept. 15-16 this year.

What I didn't read, though, is whether the hunt's still popular with kids there and how did they fare this year?

For kids or anyone, it's about the only game in town for pheasant hunters.

— Steve S., email submission

The annual Youth Pheasant Hunt held at Denman Wildlife Area was considered quite a hit among participants who fared well despite hot and dry conditions.

The two-day hunt is an opportunity for the valley's young hunters to try pheasant hunting in a controlled environment and with the assistance of volunteers with dogs flushing some of the about 500 pen-raised pheasants released at the wildlife area for this hunt, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Wildlife area Manager Clayton Barber said the event was "an outstanding success' with lots of positive responses from teen hunters and their families.

In all, 154 kids were joined in the field by the same number of adults, with the kids logging 412.2 hours of hunting over the two-day period, Barber says. A total of 164 birds were shot for a success rate of just over one bird per hunter.

That's better than adults find in the pheasant-sparse fields of the valley, but not as good as past years.

In 2010, participants averaged a whopping 1.52 pheasants per hunter — far above the usual average of just under one bird per kid. Last year's hunt produced an average of 1.23 birds per hunter.

The higher rates were attributed to rainy conditions that aided volunteer bird dogs to find and flush pheasants for the hunt.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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