Pheasant hunting opening on Boundary-Smith Creek WMA
October 2, 2021
By T.J. Ross
IDFG Regional Communications Manager
Sometimes it can be challenging to introduce the sport of hunting to a youth or an adult that has never hunted. Pheasant hunts are the perfect gateway opportunity as they are active, fun and often result in shooting opportunity and success.
Get out and give it a try!
Statewide, youth ages 17 years and younger with an Idaho hunting license can participate in the youth-only pheasant hunt from today through October 8 at 24 locations across the state.
They will need to be accompanied by a licensed adult that is 18 years or older, but they do not need an Upland Game Bird Permit to hunt where birds are stocked. All hunters must wear hunter orange above the waist while hunting during pheasant season.
Young hunters who have never had a hunting license and have not taken hunter education can still participate in the hunt through Idaho's Hunting Passport Program.
Approximately 50 pheasants will be stocked weekly at each WMA beginning the week of October 3 and ending the week of December 26 for a total of 700 pheasants at each WMA for the year.
Please note that at both locations there are small, naturalized pheasant populations. As such, it is possible hunters may encounter hen pheasant, which are illegal to harvest.
Located at the Idaho-British Columbia border, the Boundary-Smith Creek WMA is in the breathtaking Kootenai River Valley. The WMA is characterized by just over 2,000 acres of public land, and it includes both wetland, forested and upland habitat.
Grizzly bears often frequent the WMA, so hunters should be aware and carry bear spray or other bear deterrent.
All of the WMA is open to hunting, but there is no shooting allowed within 100 yards of the WMA headquarters, located at the northeastern-most corner.
For the youth hunt, pheasants will only be released in the northern field between the large wetland cell three and the Kootenai River, just south of the WMA headquarters. After the youth hunt, all other releases will be scattered throughout the WMA.
There are two rule sets for hunting pheasants. One rule set applies to hunting pheasant outside of the stocked areas, and the other rule set applies to hunting areas that are stocked by Fish and Game.
The two rule sets are the same, except for bag limit, shooting hours and permit requirements.
If hunting outside the boundaries of stocked areas, hunters can harvest a total of three cock pheasants a day, they can shoot one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset and they do not need an Upland Game Bird Permit.
If hunting in the stocked areas, only two cock pheasants can be harvested a day, hunters can shoot from 10 a.m. to one-half hour after sunset and they need an Upland Game Bird Permit.
In the Panhandle, resident hunters ages 18 and older can begin hunting pheasant on October 9 and can continue doing so until December 31. Nonresident hunters can begin hunting on October 14.
There is no season for hen pheasants. Hunters are required to wear hunter orange and possess an Idaho hunting license. For full rules, take a look at pages 11-13 of the 2020-21 Idaho Upland Game, Turkey and Furbearer rules book.
Mike Weland, Publisher
6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
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