Thursday, July 27, 2023

MI DNR expands pheasant release program for 2023 upland bird hunting season

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ highly anticipated pheasant release program is expanding for the upcoming pheasant hunting season. This year, the program will include:

  • Three times more rooster pheasants released than last year.
  • Four new release sites in Cass City, Crane Pond, Dansville and Stanton state game areas.
  • Additional releases in December on state game areas with an open pheasant hunting season.

This strategic expansion ensures a greater distribution of released pheasants and gives hunters even more options to explore Michigan's diverse landscapes.

“For seasoned hunters and newcomers alike, this is a prime opportunity for everyone to experience the thrill of pheasant hunting. We’re excited to expand the pheasant release program and offer hunters a unique chance to connect or reconnect with upland bird hunting in Michigan,” said Adam Bump, DNR upland game bird specialist. “The increased number of rooster pheasants and the addition of new release locations ensure that hunters can enjoy a memorable hunting season.”

The rooster-only pheasant releases will occur Oct. 20 to Nov. 14, coinciding with the pheasant hunting season. All release sites that have an open December pheasant hunting season will have an additional pheasant release in December.

This year, pheasants will be released on 13 state game/wildlife areas throughout southern Michigan:

  1. Cass City (Tuscola County) – fall and December release.
  2. Cornish (Van Buren County) – fall release only.
  3. Crane Pond (Cass County) – fall release only.
  4. Crow Island (Bay and Saginaw counties) – fall and December release.
  5. Dansville (Ingham County) – fall and December release.
  6. Erie (Monroe County) – fall and December release.
  7. Lapeer (Lapeer County) – fall and December release.
  8. Leidy Lake (St. Joseph County) – fall and December release.
  9. Pinconning (Bay County) – fall release only.
  10. Pointe Mouillee (Monroe and Wayne counties) – fall and December release.
  11. Rose Lake (Clinton and Shiawassee counties) – fall and December release.
  12. Stanton (Montcalm County) – fall and December release.
  13. St. Johns Marsh (St. Clair County) – fall and December release.

Read the full MI DNR posting

Thursday, July 20, 2023

ND 2023 Pheasant Crowing Counts Up 30% Statewide

The number of roosters heard crowing during the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s 2023 spring pheasant crowing count survey was up 30% statewide from last year. 

“We documented increased production for most of the state during 2022 brood routes compared to the last couple years, and we also confirmed high reproduction rates while aging hunter-submitted pheasant wings,” said R.J. Gross, department upland game management biologist. “So, the increase in pheasant density comes as no surprise despite the high snowfall this past winter.”

The primary regions holding pheasants showed 19.5 crows per stop in the southwest, up from 14.1 in 2022; 16.6 crows per stop in the northwest, up from 13.7; and 12.8 crows per stop in the southeast, up from 9.7. The count in the northeast, which is not a primary region for pheasants, was 3.3 crows per stop, up from 3.0 last year. 

“Current conditions are excellent across the state with adequate moisture this spring and early summer. These conditions should foster insect hatches, which would provide forage to chicks for brood rearing,” Gross said. “Pheasant chicks hatch from early June through late July. Much of nesting success will depend on the weather, and we will more accurately assess pheasant production during our late summer roadside counts, which begin at the end of July.”

Pheasant crowing counts are conducted each spring throughout North Dakota. Observers drive specified 20-mile routes, stopping at predetermined intervals, and counting the number of pheasant roosters heard crowing over a 2-minute period.

The number of pheasant crows heard are compared to previous years’ data, providing a trend summary.

ND State Game and fish Report