by ASHLEY BOOKER
On average, pheasant hunting brings in $75 million per year to Kansas, so a decrease in pheasant numbers across the state is a concern for pheasant hunters as well as the Kansas economy.
Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has teamed up with Pheasants Forever in Pheasant Tour 2014, with efforts to educate the public, decision-makers and conservation partners about the declining pheasant population,
In 2010, Kansas saw one of the highest pheasant harvests since 1992 — about 1 million pheasants. But in 2013, the pheasant harvest was under 200,000 birds, Jim Pitman, single game coordinator of KDWPT, said.
During a meeting Tuesday in the Pauline Joyce Fine Arts Auditorium at Garden City Community College, Pitman and his colleague, Jeff Prendergast, small game research specialist, spoke about ways to increase the pheasant harvest, and proper ways to produce substantial amounts of pheasants.
"Our biggest limiting factor here is producing more birds," Prendergast said. "We need to have the habitat on the landscape to help those birds survive through the nesting period and through the brooding period, and through the fall where they can move around and substantially escape predators."