There’s an autumn ritual in Wyoming most pheasant hunters wouldn’t dream of missing. Known in hunting circles as merely “The Springer Special,” the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Springer Permit Pheasant Hunt, keeps hunters coming back to southeastern Wyoming year after year. The deadline to apply for the required permit is Sept. 17.

The hunt takes place at the Springer Wildlife Habitat Management area near Yoder in Hunt Area 8. It’s “special” because there’s a limit of 120 permits available a day from Oct. 18-Nov. 2 and hunters must have a Springer permit. The area is stocked daily with birds from the Game and Fish Downar Game Bird Farm just down the road.

Each year a few days are carved out for youth-only opportunities to pheasant hunt. For many families, it’s the first hunt for their kids and one that often hooks them on the sport. For 2018, youth-only days at Springer are Saturday, Oct. 20 and Sunday, Oct. 28. Nearby Glendo, in Hunt Area 9,  also has youth-only hunts on Sundays on Nov. 4, 11, 18, and 25. Additionally there is a youth-only day on Nov. 17 at the Bud Love, Sand Mesa and Yellowtail Wildlife Management Areas. For specifics about those hunts please see the regulations.

“Youth-only days are a great opportunity for a first hunt and family fun,” said Robin Kepple, Laramie regional information and educational specialist. “It’s easy for youth to draw a permission slip for one of those days, and a low-pressure, safe environment for hunting.”

The bag limit at Springer is three pheasants for the permit 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. Hunters are also required to wear fluorescent pink or fluorescent orange while in the field.

The Springer permit pheasant season opens Thursday, Oct. 18. For complete information on the Springer permit hunt, Glendo hunt, as well as other upland game bird hunts on Game and Fish Wildlife Habitat Management Area  and Access Yes walk-in areas, see the Upland Game Bird and Small Game regulations on the Game and Fish website.