Monday, April 21, 2014

Where's the best place in the U.S. for pheasant hunting? Wisconsin?

Written by
Mark LaBarbera

Wisconsin pheasant hunting is attracting national attention and helping local business owners, their employees and communities. Tourism industry, get ready.

Hunters that normally travel to the Dakotas and other states now talk about declining bird populations there while enjoying greater success in Wisconsin, and they are creating an economic ripple effect here. Chat rooms, web forums and word-of-mouth among avid bird hunters and dog handlers are saying the Badger State is now producing great wing-shooting opportunities for pheasant. Why keep driving westward when Wisconsin’s natural resources are closer and fully deliver the satisfying experience hunters desire?

“I’ve heard it from hunters who hunt the Bong public land in southeastern Wisconsin and from non-resident hunters from the eastern and southern U.S.,” said veterinarian Jim Rieser of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association. “Word is spreading that hunters don’t need to drive further west,” he said, “when they can save the gas money and have as good or better hunting in Wisconsin.”

At Pheasant Forever’s 2014 Pheasant Fest in Milwaukee, hunters from across America made a point of thanking the volunteers working the Friends of Poynette Game Farm booth. Poynette is the site of the DNR’s state game farm that raises roosters and releases them on public lands accessible to everyone. The current DNR leadership increased production of the aging facility from about 50,000 to approximately 75,000 birds, with extra effort from the over-worked staff and volunteers. They also increased to 91 the number of public hunting sites where they released birds, usually twice a week on most properties to serve both weekday and weekend hunters. And the public noticed the positive results.

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