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."