Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pheasant plan pairs stocking, planting

Sunday, September 19, 2010
By John Hayes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pheasant management is a delicate issue at the Pennsylvania Game Commission. They know hunters love the way the birds hunt, the excitement of the flush, the drumsticks on the table.

They also know continuing habitat losses have severely curtailed natural reproduction of the introduced species, and put-and-take stocking is expensive -- the cost-conscious agency cut its pheasant-stocking program by 50 percent in 2004-05, saving a vital $1 million-plus annually.

Since then, PGC has reinvested in the bird with a two-pronged approach to pheasant propagation. At four Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas biologists plant breeding populations with hopes they'll take hold and prosper, and the agency continues to raise and stock about 100,000 pheasants per year.

This year, said agency executive Carl Roe, in a written statement, PGC will stock 108,000 pheasants on public lands across the state, including more than 15,000 for the junior season, Oct. 9-16. The general pheasant season runs Oct. 23-Nov. 27, with late seasons Dec. 13-Feb. 5 in some WMUs.

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