Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Oregon Pheasant Hunting Workshop 1/17/15

Salem, Ore. — Join ODFW and Sage Canyon Outfitters for a pheasant hunting workshop in Maupin, Ore. on Jan. 17 from 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The workshop will be held at Sage Canyon Outfitters upland bird hunting preserve in Maupin.

The morning session will be a shotgun skills training session that includes a classroom session on firearm safety and time spent shooting clays with a coach to help improve shooting skills. In the afternoon, participants will head out for a real pheasant hunt with a trained dog and handler/guide provided by workshop organizers.

The workshop is open to all adults (age 18 and over) and perfect for new hunters or people that need to brush up on their upland bird hunting skills. ODFW provides all equipment including 20-gauge shotguns and shells, hunter orange clothing and eye protection.

“These workshops or perfect for beginners,” said Mark Newell, ODFW outdoor skills coordinator. “We provide all the equipment and a safe, fun environment.”

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Great Conditions for Late-Season Pheasant Hunting in Minnesota

Late-season pheasant hunting opportunities are abundant across southwest, south central, and west central Minnesota.

Resulting from lack of snow, plenty of birds, and high late season bag limits, these opportunities are not to be missed, especially around the holidays.

Nicole Davros wildlife research scientist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), told reporters:

There are few better ways to take a break from eating cookies at holiday gatherings or buying presents than getting out into the fields to flush some birds. Do it once and it may well become a welcome tradition around the holidays.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Welcome to Roosterland: Scenes from a South Dakota Pheasant Hunt F&S Story

Article by Colin Kearns

When our crew of hunters stepped out of the shuttle—an old school bus painted dark green and equipped with two gun racks inside—a strange thought hit me: We’re not so different from the gun dogs. Let me explain.

Minutes earlier, as we drove past strips of corn and sorghum, the sight of a lone ringneck pheasant running away from the bus was enough to send one person in our party, Laci Warden, in a fit of laughter that was equal parts giddy and crazy. We all sort of stared at her. “What, guys?” she said. “I’m excited!” Soon the rest of us in the bus were cracking up, too. Which brings me back to the dogs.

The second they sprung from their crates, they were hysterical—literally pissing and shitting with excitement. It was as if they were begging to be released into the field.
They wanted to kill some pheasants. Just like us.

Turns out, none us had to wait long. Ten minutes into our first push, one of our guides yelled: “ROOSTER ROOSTER!” Shotgun cracks replied. One of the Labs rushed to the dead bird, and soon our first pheasant of the trip was in the game vest. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

NJ Additional Pheasants To Be Stocked December 2014

Additional Pheasants To Be Stocked
December 15, 2014
An additional 5,000 pheasants will be stocked for hunters this month by the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife. The surplus birds are available as a result of an excellent production year at the Rockport Pheasant Farm.
The Division had already committed to stocking 10% more birds (55,000 vs. 50,000) during its regular stocking season than was published in the 2014-2015 NJ Hunting and Trapping Digest (page 64), and has already used 1,000 of the surplus birds to double the number of pheasant stocked during the November 1, 2014 Youth Pheasant Hunt. The projected total stocked for hunters now exceeds 60,000 birds.
These additional 5,000 birds will be distributed statewide during the last 4 days of the current stocking season. The allocation of the additional birds is planned as follows:
  • Saturday, December 20 - additional 1,000 pheasants
  • Tuesday, December 23 - additional 1,500 pheasants
  • Saturday, December 27 - additional 1,500 pheasants
  • Tuesday, December 30- additional 1,000 pheasants
To close the gap between the cost of the pheasant program and the revenues generated from it, this year the Division also sold approximately 3,000 pheasant. Proceeds from this sale are being reinvested into Rockport to cover a portion of the costs associated with routine maintenance at the farm.


Hiring - MS Assistantship – Pheasant toxicology: South Dakota

MS Assistantship – Pheasant toxicology: South Dakota
South Dakota State University
Brookings, South Dakota
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
Approximately $18,400 stipend per year plus 2/3rd tuition waiver.
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
The Department of Natural Resource Management at South Dakota State University (SDSU) invites applications for a MS Assistantship evaluating the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on ring-necked pheasants. The graduate student will work in a captive setting at the Wildlife and Fisheries Research Facility at SDSU. Work will include determining adult survival and body condition for ring-necked pheasants exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides. Additionally, the student will determine the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on reproduction of ring-necked pheasants by evaluating reproductive-related variables (i.e., egg biometry, fecundation and hatching rates, and chick survival and growth rates). The project is funded for 3 years.
Academic requirements include a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, strong GRE scores, and GPA above 3.0. Candidates with hands-on experience working with game birds are preferred. Candidates must have a strong work ethic and be able to physically endure the demands of field work in extreme weather conditions that can range from very hot to extreme cold. Candidates must have the ability to work independently and contribute to management, research, and academic teams. 

To Apply: Please forward a cover letter, CV, a copy of transcripts (unofficial), GRE scores, and 2 letters of reference to Dr. Troy W. Grovenburg at troy.grovenburg@sdstate.edu
Contact Person
Troy Grovenburg
Contact eMail

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

WY Pheasant release a popular program

By Katie Roenigk

Hunting season for wild pheasants continues through December for roosters only.

The first week of December marks the final week of the season for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's pheasant stocking program in the Riverton area.

The birds have been released in the Sand Mesa Wildlife Habitat Management Area near Riverton twice each week this fall as part of the ongoing Game and Fish program.

Wildlife biologist Greg Anderson said the animals are raised in Sheridan and transported by trailer to Ocean Lake and Sand Mesa in northern Fremont County.

On release days, Anderson said the locations are closed for shooting after 4 p.m., when he releases the pheasants and gives them the evening to disperse.

"Hunters can pursue them the next day," he said.

The pen-raised birds aren't expected to live long in the wild, Anderson added.

"They're put out and meant to be harvested," he said.

According to the Game and Fish website, pheasants will not be released if anyone is following the stocking truck. Anderson said he sometimes invites interested residents to tag along to watch him release the birds, however.

"On Tuesdays and Fridays typically I'm putting birds out, and a number of people are aware of that and will follow me around," he said. "Sometimes they bring their kids along, or I'll bring my kids along if they're out of school."

KS Quail, Pheasant Hunting the Army Way at Fort Riley

by WIBW News Radio

Hunters have found that what’s good for Fort Riley is good for them.

The thick brush, rugged terrain and overgrown fields used to train soldiers also provide outstanding wildlife habitat for quail, pheasants, deer, turkeys and even elk.

The 101,000-acre Army base is located in northeast Kansas.  Hunting is permitted on large chunks of acreage on the base where training is not taking place.

IA Pheasant hunting with Bobbe Carney - Video

It was a beautiful day in Central Iowa when we joined Bobbe Carney of Waterloo for a pheasant hunt with her dogs, Liz and Beans.

“I always loved doing things outdoors,” she said. “And we had hunting dogs when I was a kid, and I just tagged along. Every Saturday morning I'd wake my dad up and say, ‘I'll fix lunch and you take me hunting.' So that's how we did it.

“When I was young, I never saw another female in the field.”

Carney also coached the University of Iowa women's golf team.

Read more at http://www.kcrg.com/subject/sports/pheasant-hunting-with-bobbi-carney-20141201#g0ZkI5GyRCEKSHuZ.99

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Oklahoma quail hunting has been excellent, but don't expect same from pheasants - 2014

While the early season quail hunting has been excellent, hunters can expect the pheasant hunting to be about the same as last year, which is not very good.

Oklahoma’s two-month pheasant season opens Monday, but the ringneck population hasn’t rebounded as well as the bobwhite quail.

While the early season quail hunting has been excellent, hunters can expect the pheasant hunting to be about the same as last year, which is not very good.

The quail hunters in northwest Oklahoma have been flushing a few roosters but it’s been spotty, said Scott Cox, upland game bird biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildife Conservation.
“I am pretty sure there are going to be a few more birds than last year,” said Scott Cox, upland game bird biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “It (the population) can’t do nothing but go up since we bottomed out because of the drought.

Nebraska Pheasant hunters still have many opportunities

Pheasant hunters still have many opportunities.

Tight holding roosters and walking behind the dog waiting for a flush or point may be behind us for another season, but there are still plenty of opportunities for pheasant hunters. Those who don’t mind walking in dew covered fields or in bitter cold are up to the challenge of the late season.

Late season birds are educated birds. They have survived the early season and natural predators. They will panic at the glimpse of a pickup, will flush in the dark morning hours at a door slamming and will not be found anywhere close if you don’t hunt quietly and change a few tactics.

Hunting smart and changing your approach, will help the late season upland hunter bag more birds.

Gun loads
Seasoned upland hunters know that by the late season you need to change your gun pattern from improved cylinder or modified choke to a tighter pattern full choke for longer shots.

Shot sizes also need to change. Heavier shot is needed. Use 4-shot, instead of 6, for its knockdown power. Most late season pheasants won’t hold well for a dog and they won’t let you walk up on them. You’ll see far more birds out of range than in range during this time.

Zigzagging through a field causes confusion to a pheasant. Even if there are only a pair of hunters, the movement from different directions may make the pheasants sit tight.

Hunters should start at opposite ends of cover and hunt slowly toward each other zigzagging steadily through the area. Pheasants confused by the movement will usually wait until the last moment to run or flush.

Hunt in the afternoon. Most hunters will hunt early mornings and be gone by lunchtime. Early afternoon hunts will give you several hours of hunting time and rarely will you encounter other hunters. This gives the birds time to congregate back into fields that were hunted in the morning.

Instead of hunting straight from a parking area out into the field as most hunters do, hike back into the property following crop field edges and travel lanes. Then hunt the field back toward the truck. Public land pheasants are smart, but you can dupe them with a couple of non-standard tactics to make your day a success.

The Nebraska pheasant season runs until Jan. 31. Bag limits are three daily and a possession of 12 with the season open statewide. Pick up a copy of the Public Hunting Atlas or go online at outdoornebraska.org to find additional public lands that were added after the print version of the atlas was released. If you bag game or fish on public lands share your photos at #OFWHuntFishNE and see success that others have on public lands.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

California DFW Announces Los Angeles County Pheasant Hunts for 2015

Written by CDFW

Category: California News

Published: 26 November 2014

Los Angeles, California - The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering four special pheasant hunts in Los Angeles County in January.

The program consists of two types of hunts: Family apprentice hunts that can accommodate 18 hunters each, and junior hunts that can accommodate 12 hunters each.

Two family apprentice hunts have been added for Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, and a family apprentice hunt and a junior apprentice hunt are scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. The deadline to apply is Dec. 17.

The hunts will take place at Peace Valley in Los Angeles County, which is located at Interstate 5 and state Highway 138, 8 miles south of Gorman. This hunt is on state property that is managed by the California Department of Water Resources.

All applicants must have a valid 2014-15 California hunting license. Adult participants in the family hunts must also have an upland game stamp (junior license holders under the age of 16 do not need an upland game stamp.) For more information and to apply, please visit 

For more information on pheasant season, please visit 

For any additional questions regarding the application process, please call (916) 445-3565.

SD Pheasant Hunting Lodge Keeps Busy - Video

FLANDREAU, SD - Despite our early snow and cold temperatures, some South Dakota hunting lodges are booked through the holidays. With pheasant numbers on the rise from last year, we caught up with a few hunters bagging their limits and having a good time.

The bitter cold can't keep Paul Frauen and his family from the Kansas City area out of the field. They've been coming to South Dakota for three straight years now.

"I like it because you're out, you're moving around and covering a lot of miles. Watching the dogs work is by far my favorite part," Frauen said.

Frauen and company are staying at the Rooster River Hunting Lodge in Flandreau. Matt Kitto, who works at the lodge, says business is booming.

"Our season has been going phenomenal. We've seen a lot of repeat customers but we've had a lot of new customers come in. I tell you what, you couldn't ask for better bird numbers. The bird hatch was real good and we've seen a lot of young birds," Kitto said.

Minnesota pheasant summit still taking registrations

Minnesota’s first “Pheasant Summit” is scheduled for next month in Marshall. There’s still time to register. See below for details.

The event, convened by Gov. Mark Dayton, is borrowed from a similar event convened last year — and again this year — by South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard.

Like South Dakota’s “Pheasant Habitat Summit,” the event isn’t about training dogs or improving marksmanship, but protecting grasslands, wetlands and other critical habitat for pheasants and other upland birds of the prairie.

No agenda has been produced for the event yet, and it remains unclear what, if anything, might come from the summit. One of the DNR’s stated goals is to solicit ideas from the public. As such, the DNR has an online survey that can be filled out for those unable to attend.

Pheasants being released in 9 Nebraska areas

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is releasing rooster pheasants in nine wildlife management areas in time for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The pheasants will be released to increase hunter opportunities to encourage families to go hunting together.

The pheasant season runs through Jan. 31. Contact Game and Parks at 402-471-0641 for more information.

The worst way to end a streak… Pheasant Hunting

We are in South Dakota, and hunted CREP land this afternoon (CREP is a special program in certain areas of SD that allows public hunting).  Dutch picked up scent of a bird a few minutes out of the truck. Followed him for several hundred yards before he slammed on point. I walked in, the rooster exploded behind me, and after all the calm shots I have been talking about before, I was a tad bit flustered. I recovered enough to drop a leg,  then hit him again, but he kept going. Watched him sail past Dennis out of range, and kept waiting for him to fall. I saw him swoop in to cover abruptly, a sometimes sign of a mortally wounded bird, and hustled over to (hopefully) find him, even though he was several hundred yards away. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wyoming - More Pheasant Release Sites for the 2014 Season

Pheasants will again be released on select Laramie and Platte county walk-in areas this fall and pheasant stocking in north-central Wyoming will be basically the same as last year, reports the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

“It’s a good year for the pheasant program in southeast Wyoming,” said Steve Schafer, superintendent of the Downar Bird Farm near Yoder. “We’ve got improved cover, more release sites and more birds to release than most years.”

These southeast Wyoming walk-in areas will receive pheasants for the 2014 general pheasant season: Goshen County 29 and 63, Laramie County 21 and 34, and Platte County 20 and 23. Weather permitting, areas will be stocked twice a week through Dec. 14.

Pheasants will be stocked at least twice a week at the Springer/Bump Sullivan Wildlife Habitat Management Area (Hunt Area 8) near Yoder during the general season, which runs Nov. 2 – 21. The Table Mountain WHMA south of Huntley will also be stocked twice a week through November.

Special permits are needed Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays during November at the Glendo Pheasant Hunt but pheasants will continue to be released twice a week there through Dec. 14.

The stocking plan for pheasants from the Sheridan Bird Farm is the same as past years.

Weather permitting, the Yellowtail WHMA (Hunt Area 5) near Lovell will be stocked twice a week through the week of Christmas and the Ocean Lake and Sand Mesa WHMAs (Hunt Area 2) near Riverton will be stocked twice a week through the first week in December. Check wgfd.wyo.gov for current info about pheasant stocking in these areas.

Walk-in areas will be stocked in Campbell County (No. 2), Johnson County (Nos. 9, 11) and Sheridan County (Nos. 1-6). Plus, in the Sheridan-Buffalo area, the Buffalo Run state land area, Bud Love WHMA, Welch Bureau of Land Management area and Fort Phil Kearny Hunter Management Area will also be stocked. Weather permitting, these walk-in and other areas in the Sheridan-Buffalo area will be stocked once a week through November and possibly longer depending on the supply of birds. Hunters can contact the Sheridan Game and Fish Office for the specific locations of release areas.

Hunters, regardless of age, are reminded to purchase the Pheasant Special Management Permit to hunt pheasants released by the Game and Fish. Hunter orange is recommended for all upland game bird hunting and required when hunting pheasants on Game and Fish habitat areas and the Glendo Pheasant Hunt.

Hunters are cautioned if they follow the stocking truck, the driver will likely return to the bird farm and not release the birds until a later date.

(Contact: Jeff Obrecht (307) 777-4532)


Monday, October 13, 2014

Tough times for pheasants in Washington State

Alan Thomas

Pheasant hunters lose ground to productive farming.

Two decades of change have been at work on the landscape of Eastern Washington and upland bird populations – especially pheasants – are the losers.

Big farms grow crops to the shoulders of state highways. Windmills cover hillsides. Leaky irrigation systems have been improved. And largely gone are the brushy ditches, fence rows, weedy patches and too-steep-to-farm eyebrows that once dotted the landscape with habitat for birds, particularly pheasants.

Where there once was an idle field in the Yakima Valley, now there’s a crop of corn to produce ethanol. A weedy ridge towering over the Snake River now is laced with roads to access a group of wind turbines.

Eastern Washington’s 2013 pheasant harvest was among the lowest on record.

Brian Calkins, small-game manager for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, is hopeful the 2014 season will see an improvement.

“Based on winter and spring weather conditions, we are optimistic that our pheasant harvest will rebound,” Calkins told Pheasants Forever, a nationwide conservation group. “Adding to our habitat base, several thousand acres of permanent cover were seeded with forbs (broad leaf plants) in southeast Washington this year specifically to improve brood rearing habitat for pheasants.”
Eastern Washington also had a mild winter, relatively dry spring and dry summer, which likely will help with wild pheasant production.

Oregon Pheasant Tales - Hunting Pheasants in 2014

James Stengle

For upland bird hunters, the pheasant opener (Saturday, October 11th) is like a festive holiday. Every October a sea of orange-clad hunters descend on the fields and farms of Oregon to chase the wily Chinese ring-necked pheasant. We come from around the state and elsewhere to share this hunt. Whoa, not so fast! That is the way it used to be here in Oregon. But things have definitely gone downhill if you are a pheasant hunter in Oregon. We still enjoy the opening day and get a chance to chase those pheasant tails but pheasant populations have significantly declined over the decades.

Pheasants were first successfully introduced to the United States right here in Oregon in the Willamette Valley in 1881 by Judge Owen Denny. That introduced population thrived and with protection, Oregon held its first pheasant season eleven years later when 50,000 pheasants were harvested. Birds were introduced into 40 other states and populations reached all-time highs in the mid-1900s. But a combination of factors has reduced populations across much of the current pheasant range. Changing agricultural practices, habitat destruction, development, and urban/suburban encroachment have taken its toll on pheasant numbers. Without major changes, these factors will continue to impact pheasants in years to come. Latest harvest statistics for Oregon showed less than 20,000 pheasants were harvested last year. The outlook for this season shows a decline in pheasant numbers with no identified reason. So it does look like a bleak season for us pheasant hunters here in Oregon.

More Public Hunting Land In Nobles County MN Opens Today

More than 150 outdoor supporters and hunters gathered Saturday during the Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener to dedicate a recently acquired wildlife management area (WMA) near Worthington.

The 147-acre Worthington Wells tract of the Lake Bella WMA provides public hunting land and protects highly vulnerable soils in the center of Worthington’s municipal water supply.

The parcel lies in the Lake Bella well field, which supplies the majority of water to the city of Worthington. The soils on 97 acres of the WMA are permeable, meaning they rapidly absorb surface water. Covering the site with undisturbed grassland provides habitat for many species of wildlife and helps protect groundwater from contamination.

Read the rest of the MinnesotaSportngJournal article

Monday, October 6, 2014

Many factors could affect MN pheasant season success

Glenn Schmitt, glens@outdoornews.com

The 2014 pheasant season kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday and hunters are expected to have a better season than 2013 when they shot 169,000 roosters, which was the lowest total since 1986.

August roadside counts conducted by the Department of Natural Resources indicated a 6 percent increase in pheasant numbers from last year. It also appears that nesting success was better this spring based on a 28 percent increase in the number of broods counted compared with last August.

But Nicole Davros, DNR research scientist, says there are several variables that will once again play into hunter success this season. Among them, the lack of corn harvested at the start of the season could affect hunters more than any other factor.

“There just hasn’t been much of a corn harvest at this point. I’m hoping it starts coming out because that helps condense birds,” she said. “We’re predicting a harvest of 224,000 roosters this season, we hope it will be close to that.”

Minnesota's pheasant habitat is being improved, but the amount continues to decline

Article by: DOUG SMITH 

When Minnesota’s 70,000 or so pheasant hunters go afield beginning Saturday, they will find some improved wildlife habitat on the heavily hunted state wildlife management areas.

That’s good, because they’re also going to find considerably less ringneck habitat on private lands.

Over the past three years, three roving habitat crews funded by Legacy Amendment dollars have enhanced grasslands on state lands, doubling the acreage the Department of Natural Resources normally improves yearly. Totaling 22 people, the crews do controlled burns to stimulate growth, cut trees and woody cover that invade grasslands, and plant seed.

“We [the DNR] normally burn 15,000 to 20,000 acres yearly, and these crews are doing about that much alone,’’ said Bob Welsh, DNR wildlife habitat program manager.

The results should benefit pheasants and pheasant hunters. “Higher-quality grasslands will no doubt generate more birds,’’ Welsh said.

But this accelerated effort to improve grassland quality comes while the amount of private land enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) continues to drop. Those grasslands are being plowed and planted to corn and soybeans. In 2007, Minnesota hunters shot 655,000 pheasants — the highest tally in more than 40 years. Last year, after losing 93,000 acres (145 square miles) of grasslands over the years, hunters bagged just 169,000 ringnecks, the lowest in 28 years.

The decline in the number of pheasant hunters contributed to that harvest decline: Minnesota had an estimated 56,000 fewer pheasant hunters last fall than in 2007.

But the habitat situation could have been much worse. The state actually lost 224,000 acres (350 square miles) of CRP in the pheasant range in the past seven years, but it gained 130,000 acres of other habitat there, including 52,000 acres of new federal waterfowl production areas, refuges and easements and 35,000 acres of state wildlife areas.

Minnesota now has about 1.6 million acres of grassland habitat, down from 1.7 million acres in 2007.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Iowa – Pheasants Numbers Up 151 percent, at Six-Year High

Iowa pheasant hunters received some good news recently. Bird numbers are much higher than expected. Nesting success was good. 

Iowa’s pheasant numbers have rebounded to a six-year high, says Todd Bogenschutz, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ upland wildlife research biologist.

The state’s August roadside survey indicates a pheasant index up 151 percent as compared to last year.
“It appears many hens were successful at nesting even though it was a cooler than normal spring,” Bogenschutz said. He adds poor roadside count conditions the past two seasons also contributed to an underestimation of the population the past couple seasons.

“More hens on the landscape than we thought, combined with a good nesting effort this year, has helped pheasant numbers rebound to a six-year high,” he said. “Last year, 41,000 hunters harvested 166,000 roosters.

While bird numbers are nowhere near heyday levels, Bogenschutz says hunter numbers and hunting pressure has really declined which means there are underutilized hunting opportunities statewide.

“Hunters should be pleasantly surprised by the improved bird numbers in parts of Iowa,” he said. “Hunters need to focus around areas with good winter cover and grassland nesting habitat.”

Governor Dayton Announces Plans for Minnesota Pheasant Summit

Later this year, Governor Dayton will convene hunters, farmers, conservationists, and other stakeholders to discuss strategies to increase the state’s pheasant population
ST. PAUL, MN – Last night at the Pheasants Forever Chapter 844 banquet in St. Paul, Governor Mark Dayton announced plans to convene the state’s first-ever Minnesota Pheasant Summit. The Summit, to be held later this year, will include hunters, farmers, policymakers, conservationists, other stakeholders, and key members of the Governor’s Cabinet. It will focus on strategies to increase the state’s pheasant population, improve pheasant habitat, and ensure future generations of Minnesota hunters have the opportunity to enjoy one of the state’s most popular and iconic game birds.
“For almost 60 years, I have enjoyed pheasant hunting in Minnesota,” said Governor Dayton. “But the decisions we make today will determine whether future generations of Minnesotans will have those same opportunities. I look forward to convening this Minnesota Pheasant Summit, and developing strategies to improve the pheasant population in our state.”
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) expects Minnesota hunters will bag an estimated 200,000 pheasants during this fall’s hunting season. And this year, hunting conditions will be better than last year. According to the DNR, the state’s pheasant population index is up 6 percent over 2013.
Despite this slight increase, the state’s pheasant population is still 58 percent below the 10-year average, and 71 percent below the long-term average. The Minnesota Pheasant Summit, to be held after this year’s hunting season concludes, will discuss why the pheasant population has declined in Minnesota, and what collaborative efforts can be undertaken to improve pheasant habitat statewide.
Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will release more information about the date and location of the Minnesota Pheasant Summit in the coming weeks.
A life-long pheasant hunter, Governor Dayton launched the state’s first-ever Governor’s Pheasant Opener in Montevideo in 2011. Since then, the Governor has hosted pheasant openers in Marshall (2012) and Madelia (2013). On October 10th and 11th of this year, Governor Dayton will host the fourth annual Governor’s Pheasant Opener in Worthington. These events have brought attention to the sport of pheasant hunting, dedicated acres of new public hunting lands in four Minnesota communities, and brought Minnesotans together to celebrate one of the state’s time-honored hunting traditions. 

Wild pheasants will be coming to Pa. from the West this year


It looks like the Pennsylvania Game Commission won't have any problems this year procuring wild pheasants to stock in its Hegins-Gratz and Franklin wild pheasant recovery areas.

According to John Dunn, acting director of the agency's Bureau of Wildlife Management, western states, where wild pheasant numbers took a nosedive in recent years, are seeing a resurgence in bird numbers this year.

"The pheasant populations are up this year, in most of the Midwestern states in particular, and in Montana and South Dakota and North Dakota," he told commissioners at their recent meeting in Harrisburg.

"So in talking with the South Dakota pheasant biologist, biologically he sees no reason that would prevent them from trapping birds for us this year and getting us 300 to 600 – particularly around towns where they don't allow hunting."

Dunn also noted that he recently was in contact with biologists in Kansas and that they also conveyed positive reports about pheasant numbers.

"That is another possibility for us, so right now we have three potential possibilities to get wild pheasants – working with the Indian reservation in Montana, South Dakota and Kansas," he said.

Friday, September 26, 2014

30k Pheasants to Be Released in NY

Approximately 30,000 adult pheasants will be released on lands open to public hunting for the upcoming fall pheasant hunting season, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced.

The pheasant hunting season begins on October 1 in northern and eastern portions of New York, October 18 in central and western portions, and November 1 on Long Island.
“The Day-old Pheasant Chick Program provides additional opportunities for pheasant hunters,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens.

“Pheasant hunting opportunities have also been augmented by private landowners who have opened their land to public hunting. DEC is grateful for their help in providing a high-quality hunting experience for New York’s sportsmen and sportswomen.”

A list of statewide pheasant release sites and sites receiving birds for the youth-only pheasant hunt weekends can be found at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9349.html.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

NY DEC Announces Release of Pheasants for 2014 Hunting Season

Approximately 30,000 adult pheasants will be released on lands open to public hunting for the upcoming fall pheasant hunting season, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. The pheasant hunting season begins on October 1 in northern and eastern portions of New York, October 18 in central and western portions, and November 1 on Long Island.

"The Day-old Pheasant Chick Program provides additional opportunities for pheasant hunters," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "Pheasant hunting opportunities have also been augmented by private landowners who have opened their land to public hunting. DEC is grateful for their help in providing a high-quality hunting experience for New York's sportsmen and sportswomen."
Since 2007, DEC has offered a special youth-only season to provide junior hunters (12-15 years old) the opportunity to hunt pheasants the weekend prior to the regular pheasant hunting season. In western New York, the youth pheasant hunt weekend is October 11-12. In northern and eastern New York, the youth pheasant hunt weekend is September 27-28, and on Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk counties) it is October 25-26.

Pheasants will be released on a number of selected release sites across the state to provide ample hunting opportunities for junior hunters. All current pheasant hunting rules and regulations remain in effect during the youth hunt. Please note that due to new legislation that changed the start of the license year from October 1 to September 1, either a 2013-14 hunting license or a 2014-15 hunting license can be used to hunt during September this year. A 2014-15 license is required starting October 1.

All release sites for pheasants provided by state-funded programs are open to public hunting. Pheasants will be released on state-owned lands prior to and during the fall hunting season, and thanks to a partnership with New York City Department of Environmental Protection, at a number of sites on New York City Watershed lands. A list of statewide pheasant release sites and sites receiving birds for the youth-only pheasant hunt weekends can be found on DEC's website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9349.html.

The program was developed in the early 1900s to provide day-old pheasant chicks to cooperating 4-H groups and sportsmen and sportswomen. The chicks are distributed to program participants in May and June, and cooperators incur all costs associated with rearing the birds, including feed, water, utilities and facility construction. The birds are raised to adulthood and released on lands open to public hunting before the season opens. This year, about 40,000 pheasant chicks were distributed statewide as part of this program. For more information about DEC's day-old pheasant rearing program, please see: Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program on DEC's website. Those interested in raising and releasing pheasants to expand next year's hunting opportunities can contact DEC's Reynolds Game Farm at (607) 273-2768.

Boundaries for pheasant hunting zones conform to Wildlife Management Units used for management of other upland wildlife. Wildlife Management Unit boundary descriptions can be found on DEC's website. In addition to knowing these unit boundary descriptions, hunters should review the 2014-15 New York Hunting & Trapping Guide for complete regulations and other important information before going afield. Hunters who plan to use private lands should ask permission from the landowner.
In support of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, this year's budget includes $6 million in NY Works funding to support creating 50 new land and water access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have not reached their full potential. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In addition, the 2014-15 budget includes $4 million to repair the state's fish hatcheries; and renews and allows expanded use of crossbows for hunting in New York State.

For information on below visit DEC's website:

Monday, September 22, 2014

KS Upland bird numbers on uptick

Biologists with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism — with help from other entities — monitor upland bird populations by looking at breeding populations and reproductive success via roadside surveys, crow and whistling counts and lek observations. The overall news is good and pointed back in a positive direction. However, due to a limited breeding population in most areas resulting from the extended drought, harvest figures will likely be below average. Here’s a detailed look at what the 2014 Upland Bird Forecast revealed for Kansas.

Pheasant breeding populations have shown a decline for the last three years because of drought but stabilized this spring in all areas except the Northern High Plains. Rains last summer helped conditions in many areas but lacked in the fall and winter, resulting in poor winter wheat production heading into the nesting season this spring. Spring rains came and habitat conditions improved by stimulating the growth of weeds, insect emergence and better brood-rearing conditions. Rains also delayed the wheat harvest in many areas. All of these factors had a positive impact on production and resulted in a 70-percent, statewide increase compared to 2013 figures.

Improved hunting opportunities should be the norm, but given that the pheasant population was at an all-time low last year it might take another year or two for numbers to rebound to pre-drought levels. Kansas will have a below average harvest again for 2014, but will still have one of the highest harvest figure in the country as Kansas typically ranks among the best. The areas with the most significant increase should be the Smoky Hills Region.

For a more detailed look and regional breakdown of the 2014 Upland Bird Hunting Forecast, check out http://kdwpt.state.ks.us/Hunting/Upland-Birds/Upland-Bird-Forecast.

Hiring - Pheasant Research Technician – Nebraska

Description: One temporary field technician is needed to assist graduate research of ring-necked pheasant behavior and habitat use and hunter movement in Southwestern Nebraska. The technician will assist with nightlighting within the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Southwest “Focus on Pheasant” area. Primary duties will be capturing wild pheasants and attaching radio collars. The technician will also conduct hunter surveys and monitor hunter movements. Work requires physically fit individuals capable of working through the night in adverse conditions. Successful applicants will be highly motivated, have an enthusiasm for field work and have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

Qualifications: Knowledge, skills, and abilities
- Ability to collect detailed data efficiently and accurately both independently and as part of a team
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Interest in hunting and human dimensions
- Experience handling wild birds is preferred

Physical requirements
- REQUIRED: Technicians must have excellent physical fitness and hand-eye coordination
- Technicians will be required to work an erratic schedule including nights, early mornings, weekdays, weekends, and holidays in a rural area of Southwestern Nebraska under potentially adverse weather conditions (extreme heat, cold, rain, snow, hail)

Special licenses or certifications
- A current driver’s license with fewer than 6 points is required
- Current first aid and CPR certification is required prior to employment
- All applicants are subject to University of Nebraska-Lincoln hiring requirements including mandatory driving record (past 5 years) and criminal background checks

Supplemental information
- Shared field housing in Culbertson, NE is provided
- Salary: $1500-$1800/month

- Positions are temporary and grant funded

Friday, September 19, 2014

CA SHARE Program to Offer Fall Hunts for Pheasant

SHARE is offering waterfowl, dove and pheasant hunts on the wildlife management area at the Merced Wastewater Treatment Plant. The property is located five miles south of the city of Merced with 300 acres open for hunting. Tucked between sloughs and agricultural fields, the seasonal pond and wetland area provides cover and forage for waterfowl, dove and pheasant.

For more information about each SHARE property, the opportunities available and how to apply for the hunts, please go to www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/share/.

A non-refundable application fee of $11.06 will be charged for each hunt choice. Hunters with a valid California hunting license may apply through the Automated License Data System (ALDS) by visiting www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/ols/.

The SHARE program has partnered with the California Waterfowl Association (CWA) to offer public hunting opportunities on private lands for fall hunts. California Waterfowl’s Hunt Program has expanded and is now offering additional hunting opportunities, including the recently acquired Goose Lake Wildlife Management Area located approximately eight miles south of Kern National Wildlife Refuge. For a full description of the hunts offered through CWA and step-by-step instructions on how to apply, visit CWA online at www.calwaterfowl.org.

These hunting opportunities are made possible by the SHARE Program, which offers incentives to private landowners who allow wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities on their property. Participating landowners receive liability protection and compensation for providing public access to or through their land for wildlife-dependent recreational activities. The goal of the SHARE Program is to provide additional hunting, fishing and other recreational access on private lands in California.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Kansas 2014 Pheasant Forecast - Most areas have improved


After three consecutive years of statewide declines, the spring breeding populations stabilized in 2014. The only region showing a significant decrease was the Northern High Plains. Late summer rains that fell across much of the state in 2013 improved vegetative cover. However, the remainder of the fall and winter produced little precipitation and a majority of the winter wheat was in poor to very poor condition coming into the nesting season, creating less than optimal nesting conditions. 

Precipitation returned in mid-May and continued through most of the summer. Despite the tardiness of the rainfall, conditions still improved greatly. And precipitation delayed wheat harvest, stimulated the growth of annual weeds, and promoted insect emergence, creating better nesting conditions and excellent brooding conditions throughout much of the state. These factors all had a positive impact on production, and combined for a statewide increase in the summer brood counts by 70 percent when compared to 2013. This increase should offer an improved hunting opportunities this fall although given that the population was at a modern day low, a few good years will be required for full recovery. Kansas will again have a below-average pheasant harvest this fall. Kansas still contains one of the best pheasant populations and the fall harvest will again be among the best in the country. The best areas this year will likely be in the Smoky Hills region.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

ID Youth pheasant hunters can join a free hunt

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are putting together quite a deal for youths ages 11 to 15 - show up with a hunter safety card and a valid hunting license, and a willingness to learn, and nearly everything else is taken care of for free.

The hunt will take place Oct. 4 on a 2,100-acre private ranch near Weiser. If sign-ups exceed available spots, organizers will repeat the hunt on Oct. 5.

To sign up, call Chuck Robinson at 473-4997 or email chuckrr@hotmail.com.

Participants will gather at 8:30 a.m. at Weiser River Ranch, and the event is scheduled to end around 4:30 p.m. Hunters should wear warm clothes and shoes capable for hiking.

Pheasant Hunting Dream in Harvey, N.D.

By Bob & Ginny Riege

Have you stepped back in time? Or are you watching some movie that has come out of the 1950′s? The answers to your questions is summed up in two words; North Dakota.

Allow me to back up a bit and tell you how I found out about this paradise. A very good friend of mine, Jason Mitchell from Jason Mitchell Outdoors and resident of North Dakota called one day in the middle of the summer and said. “Bob you have got to get yourself out to Harvey, North Dakota.” The excitement in his voice told me that I should put down my ice tea and listen. “I’m telling you that it is like it use to be when we were kids growing up. You will see at least 300 pheasants in a day and you can’t believe it, but seriously the sky will turn black with birds.”

Now I have hunted pheasants in Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota and even Nebraska for over forty years, and I have been on some good shoots, but really 300 pheasants a day? This guy has been out in the sun to long. So to sooth my friend I told him that I would see if I could fit it into my schedule for October. I figured that right after duck opener and just after the beginning of pheasant season would be a good time to get my Irish Setters on some real active birds. So, with a pause in my speech, I told Jason that I would give Nicki Weissman Job Development/ Economic Development Director and CVB Coordinator of Harvey, North Dakota a call.

I took the opportunity of the slow summer fishing season to sit down one evening and call out to Harvey, ND to talk to Nicki Weissman. What I heard on the other end of the line was remarkable. She told me that a number of goose, duck and pheasant hunters had visited Harvey last year and that their success ratio was outstanding. In our conversation, I asked; “Why is this area so good for waterfowl and upland game?” The answer from Nicki was a simple one word; “Habitat.”

Throughout the area around Harvey, North Dakota there are places that hold pheasants in huntible numbers. There are private lands with scattered potholes and sloughs or woody draws that provide good places to hunt. These prairie potholes provide an excellent sportsmen’s paradise with a plethora of ducks and geese.

Public lands, (Lonetree Wildlife Management Area 25,730 acres) whether game production areas or waterfowl production areas, which are managed by the state or federal government, are also excellent spots for hunters to look for a few roosters, sharp tailed grouse, or Hungarian partridge. In fact, a hunter would be hard pressed to hunt this entire WMA in a lifetime.

We met Nicki Weissman and Mike Jensen from North Dakota Department of Commerce at JW’s restaurant for breakfast. JW’s specializes in awesome omelets, and lunch specials that will keep you going all day long. More importantly, this is where many of the locals go and it is a good place for nonresidents to make contact with landowners and community members. This is where traditions are born. Traditions are something that Harvey, North Dakota has to offer especially when it comes to hunting in the fall. Harvey, North Dakota has hunting rooted in the traditional family methods and it is carried on from generation to generation.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

MN 2014 Walk-In Access Maps Now Available

Walk-In Access (WIA) Program

...providing public hunting opportunities on private lands thanks to volunteer landowners.
  • Hunters must purchase a WIA Validation to legally hunt WIA Sites this fall. Purchase Online or by phone: 1-888-665-4236 (ELS CODE 190)
    It is a nominal $3, a portion of which covers the license transaction with the remainder to be used for a hunter evaluation next year. The validation will also give DNR and policymakers a way to track the number of hunters whom hunt Walk-In Access sites. Landowners cannot give others permission to hunt without a validation.
  • Walk-In Access sites are open during any legal hunting season from Sept. 1 to May 31. Please respect private property and verify public hunting areas by observing boundary signs.
  • Clay County WIA #55 is within the Clay County Game Refuge and is closed to waterfowl hunting during the regular season. Open to all other hunting.
  • Walk-In Access sites (WIA) are only open to hunting where WIA boundaries are posted with WIA signs. Landowners may opt out of the program, and will be reflected in the Online Atlas and the WIA County Interactive Map.
  • Only walk-in hunting traffic is allowed on enrolled acres. "No target practice, trapping, dog training, camping, horseback riding or fires are allowed by the public. The landowner retains the right to engage in, or give permission to engage in hiking/dog walking on a leash, trapping, camping, horseback riding, or campfires, and other limited activities that do not impede public hunting." No vehicle traffic is allowed. Parking is along roads or in designated parking areas.
  • Hunters must follow the Code of Conduct This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. developed for WIA lands.

Find a WIA Interactive Map

See WIAs for Clay County See WIAs for Becker County See WIAs for Otter Tail County See WIAs for Wilkin County See WIAs for Grant County See WIAs for Douglas County See WIAs for Traverse County See WIAs for Stevens County See WIAs for Pope County See WIAs for Big Stone County See WIAs for Swift County See WIAs for Kandiyohi County See WIAs for Meeker County See WIAs for Lac Qui Parle County See WIAs for Chippewa County See WIAs for McLeod County See WIAs for Yellow Medicine County See WIAs for Renville County See WIAs for Redwood County See WIAs for Lincoln County See WIAs for Lyon County See WIAs for Brown County See WIAs for Blue Earth County See WIAs for Pipestone County See WIAs for Murray County See WIAs for Cottonwood County See WIAs for Watonwan County See WIAs for Jackson County See WIAs for Martin County Click on a county in the map to bring up detailed maps of WIAs

WIA tools

ALL WIA sites will OPEN to Public Hunting Sept 1, 2014.

WIA maps & data

All map data and map products (including Google Earth, Google Map, and GPS files) are general and do not accurately represent the actual legal or established boundary of these areas, and thus should be used for reference only. Please respect private property and verify public hunting areas by observing boundary signs.

Check the MN DNR website for updates