Pheasants Released
Inside the Outdoors, October 28,
2016

Even though we are faced with cooler temperatures, we always have one thing to which to look forward, and that is a ray of sunshine to break up the monotony of an overcast day.

Much is the same for the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC). Its overcast is a lack of funding that keeps the agency running. Its ray of sunshine came months ago when hunters started getting ready for hunting season by investing in licenses that added fuel to the fire to keep the agency in the black.

And need I state, we are in the thick of activity, from harvesting waterfowl, doves, woodcocks, and the recently completed antlerless muzzleloader and statewide antlerless deer season.

Now it’s for certain. I’ve have written many stories on deer kill around the county over the years past, but never touched upon the raising and releasing of pheasants.

What comes to mind immediately are the hunts that the Kingston Veterans and Sportsmans Club held for youth. All kids taking part had an adult mentor to guide them and teach them proper skills.

A couple of weeks ago, I read on the PGC website that pheasants will soon be released. I’m sure many of those youth that learned earlier how to harvest these birds will be out in full force gunning for these beautiful birds.

Approximately 240,000 birds were released, 25,000 more than last year for the 2016-2017 seasons. According to the PGC, “There have been some changes to its pheasant-propagation program to cut costs. Instead of raising chicks from breeder pheasants at the Game Commissions game farms, the agency in 2017 plans to begin purchasing day-old chicks from private propagators.”

On the farms, the breeder pheasants were no longer kept and released throughout the commonwealth to wander on their own, away from the state’s compound.

The amount of money that hopefully will be saved with this new move is approximated at $200,000 annually.

“Additionally, the Game Commission purchased 15,000 day old chicks this year in a test run to ensure its program could operate smoothly if it transitions all chicks to be raised. Those birds will be released, as well.”

When asked PGC executive Director R. Matthew Hough how he viewed the program, he stated, “Pennsylvania’s pheasant hunters once again have plenty to be excited about year.”

The statewide pheasant season begins Oct. 22 and runs through Nov. 26.

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The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) recently announced that all fishing licenses costs would be cut in half right up to the end of the year.

Part of the “Fall into Fishing Campaign,” it began Oct. 1, state residents can buy an annual license good until the end of the year $12.40, non-residents, $27.40 and seniors, $6.90. What a deal.

Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Commission’s Executive Director John Arway stated in the Oct. 21 of the Pennsylvania Outdoor News, “This is another way for us to market a segment of the population that may be drawn to fall fishing opportunities but haven’t wanted to purchase a full-year license.”

He further stated that, “Fall is our traditional hunting season, so we want anglers to get their rods and try hunting for their favorite species. From steelhead in Lake Erie tributaries, to striped bass in Lake Raystown in the Lehigh Upper Delaware or your local fall trout water, fall is a special time to enjoy fishing Penn’s Waters.”

Note – The price discount doesn’t apply to trout stamps or Lake Erie permits.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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