Fall pheasant stocking plans announced

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:54

    HARRISBURG-The Pennsylvania Game Commission has slated 112,430 ring-necked pheasants for release on public lands throughout the Commonwealth for the upcoming small game hunting seasons, an increase from the original 100,000 birds planned due to cost-cutting efforts put in place beginning in the 2004-05 fiscal year. "Based on agency's budget cuts in the last and 2005-06 fiscal years, we reduced our pheasant propagation program by 50 percent," said Vern Ross, Game Commission executive director. "Reducing the pheasant propagation program saved the agency nearly $650,000 over the two fiscal years. Without a hunting license fee increase, we expect to continue producing at the 100,000-bird level for 2006-07. At the reduced level, the agency will realize a savings of nearly $1.1 million over the three fiscal years. "Despite the overall reductions, this year our game farm staff had an excellent production season with virtually no weather-related problems. This has resulted in a more than 12 percent increase above the 100,000-bird production quota for stocking this fall." Ross announced that the increased success rate in production has enabled the agency to provide additional birds for the small game season, as well as restore the stocking allocation to 18,000 birds - up from the initial 15,000 birds -- for the fourth annual Youth Pheasant Hunt, which is scheduled for Oct. 8-14. Ross reminded hunters that each year, beginning in January, hunting clubs are able to assist the agency in raising pheasants, especially during the agency's lean-fiscal times, by enrolling in the "Pheasant Chick Program." As part of the program, clubs are required to erect appropriate facilities, purchase feed and cover other expenses, and then they can receive pheasant chicks to raise and release for hunting and dog training purposes. For more information, please visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission - State Wildlife Management Agency website: http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/