The spectral yield of fast neutrons from the d+He (thick target) reaction has been measured at different angles for the incident deuteron energy of 17 MeV. The measurement has been performed in an open geometry employing the shadow-bar method. The scintillation detection technique with two-dimensional n- γ discrimination electronics has been used. In the measurement, the list mode of the PC data-acquisition system was effectively employed in the elimination of the parasitic neutron contribution, caused by the random fluctuation of the beam-spot position out of the target window. The measured angular distribution of the neutron yield was compared with relevant data of the reaction Be(d, xn). The high yield, Gaussian-like shape of the energy spectrum and strongly forward-directed emission of neutrons from the thick He target seem to be advantageous for selected irradiation tasks.