You can help conserve wildlife in Utah, and make this fall's pheasant hunt better, by adopting pheasant chicks, raising the birds, and then releasing them into the wild.
If you join Utah’s Day-old Pheasant Chick program, you can adopt a chick this spring, raise it through the summer and release it this fall.
In mid May, the Division of Wildlife Resources will obtain 2,500 to 3,000 pheasant chicks, both roosters and hens. The chicks will be only one day old when the DWR obtains them from a commercial bird grower.
DWR staff will then provide the chicks to individuals, families and groups who have agreed to participate in the agency's Day-old Pheasant Chick program.
If you join the program, you'll raise the chicks to adulthood. Then, before the general pheasant hunt starts in November, you'll help release the birds into the wild.
The pheasants will be released on state wildlife and waterfowl management areas, walk-in access areas and private land that provides access to public hunters.
If you participate, Dean Mitchell, Conservation Outreach Section chief for the DWR, says you must cover all of the expenses to feed, vaccinate and house the birds.
Information about the facilities needed to raise pheasants, and tips that will help you raise the birds, are available at wildlife.utah.gov/uplandgame.
Once you arrive at the page, scroll through the listings until you find the 'Adopt pheasant chicks' subhead.
"Before you enter the program," Mitchell says, "please read this information. It will help you decide if the program is for you."
In addition to providing more birds to hunt, Mitchell says raising birds will give you a chance to get involved in wildlife conservation. And it should be a lot of fun.
"Raising a pheasant, from a chick to an adult, is a terrific activity that helps kids and adults understand some of the challenges wildlife face as they grow," Mitchell says. "Raising a chick will be an experience you won't soon forget."
After reviewing the information at wildlife.utah.gov/uplandgame, you can participate in the program by calling the following DWR office nearest you: