Miss the Springer pheasant hunt deadline? You can still try a walk-on

There’s an autumn ritual in Wyoming most pheasant hunters wouldn’t dream of missing.

10/16/2017 3:11:52 PM

Cheyenne - There’s an autumn ritual in Wyoming most pheasant hunters wouldn’t dream of missing. Tenderly known in hunting circles as “The Special,” the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Springer Special Pheasant Hunt keeps hunters coming back to southeastern Wyoming year after year.

“In 20 years, I’ve never missed a Springer hunt,” said Dave Vielhak, of Cheyenne. Vielhak started going on the hunt alone, flanked only by his bird dog. Later he brought his twin boys along for the fun. Since then, it’s been an annual event.

The hunt takes place at Springer Wildlife Habitat Management area near Yoder. It’s “special” because there’s a limit of 120 hunters a day from Oct. 19-Nov. 3 and hunters must have a Springer permit. The area is stocked with birds from the Game and Fish Downar Bird Farm just down the road.

Pheasant hunts are one of the youth-only opportunities offered by Game and Fish in Wyoming. For many families, it’s the first hunt for their kids and one that often hooks them on the sport.
Vielhak recalls taking his sons to Springer on the designated youth day, and it was enough that one son returns still today. For 2017, youth-only days are Oct. 21 and Oct. 29. Nearby Glendo also has youth-only days on November 6, 13, 20, and 27 in Hunt Area 9.

“We were done in an hour — had our limit. I never saw so many birds, and the Game and Fish made sure there were plenty for the youth,” Vielhak said.

The bag limit at Springer is three birds for the season. Hunters are required to have an upland game bird license, conservation stamp, hunter education certificate if they are born on or after January 1, 1966, a Springer permit, and a pheasant special management permit.

The good news is walk-on spots are frequently available for hunters who missed the late-August permit application, so there is still a chance to bag birds at Springer this fall. Walk-on hunters can access the field at starting 9 a.m. Springer opens for the season on Thursday, Oct. 19.

For complete information on the Springer hunt, Glendo hunt, as well as other Game and Fish Wildlife Habitat Management Area hunts, see the Upland Game Bird and Small Game regulations on the Game and Fish website.

(Wyoming Game and Fish - 307-777-4540)

- WGFD -

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