For those heading out for some pheasant hunting this fall in the Southeast Region, take note. The Zollinger Access Yes! property near Preston in Franklin County will not be stocked by Idaho Fish and Game as planned.
Habitat conditions on the Zollinger property—namely forage and vegetative cover-- have changed significantly due to issues associated with the area’s extreme drought. The property simply cannot support the number of pheasants typically released through the pheasant stocking program.
Idaho Fish and Game will still be stocking both Sterling Wildlife Management Area near Aberdeen and the Portneuf Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Inkom. The Zollinger property was recently added to the Southeast Region pheasant stocking efforts under Fish and Game’s Access Yes! program in order to provide a location for pheasant hunters in that part of the state. Idaho Fish and Game will reevaluate the potential for stocking pheasants on the Zollinger property next year.
Here is some information about the Southeast Region WMA pheasant stocking program to help pheasant hunters prepare for the upcoming youth and regular seasons.
- Youth pheasant season runs Oct 2 through Oct 8. Licensed youth hunters 17 years of age and younger can hunt during youth pheasant season if accompanied by an adult 18 years or older.
- Regular season runs Oct 16 through Nov 30. Non-resident pheasant hunters (youth and adults) must wait five days after the start of regular pheasant season to begin pheasant hunting. However, non-resident youth pheasant hunters are allowed to participate during the entire youth pheasant season.
- Fish and Game will be releasing pheasants to Sterling WMA and the Portneuf WMA with weekly stocking efforts during pheasant season. However, Fish and Game won’t start stocking pheasants at the Portneuf WMA until the week of Oct 25. This delayed stocking effort at this particular WMA is intended to reduce hunter congestion by concentrating pheasant hunters on the WMA after deer season.
- Any person 18 years old or older must have a valid Upland Game Bird Permit in possession while hunting pheasants where pheasants are stocked. When a pheasant is reduced to possession, the hunter must immediately validate the permit by entering the harvest date and location code in non-erasable ink, and remove a notch from the permit for each pheasant taken. Hunters can find locations codes for each Upland Game Bird Permit Release Area on Fish and Game’s upland game bird permit webpage. The location code for Sterling WMA is 05, and the location code for the Portneuf WMA is 14.
- Each Upland Game Bird Permit allows the take of six pheasants (roosters only), and multiple permits may be purchased.
- The two pheasant daily bag limit, and six pheasant possession limit apply when hunting WMAs.
- In the Southeast Region, shooting hours on WMAs where pheasants are stocked are from 10 a.m. to one half hour after sunset during pheasant season.
- All upland game bird hunters are required to wear at least 36 square inches of visible hunter orange above the waist during pheasant season in areas where pheasants are stocked. A hunter orange hat meets this requirement. This includes all upland game bird hunters on Upland Game Bird Permit Release Areas, not just those pursuing pheasants. This is not a requirement for upland game hunters who are hunting other sites.
- The permit is not required to hunt any other upland game bird species in Idaho, including in Upland Game Bird Permit Release Areas.
More information regarding the pheasant stocking program in the Southeast Region and other regions of the state, including stocking schedules and maps of bird release areas, can be found at here.