Hunters will get more opportunities to hunt released pheasants in 2020 thanks to increased pheasant stocking locations from nine to 22 and includes locations in each region of the state. Pheasant season opens Oct.10 in North Idaho and Oct. 17 in South and East Idaho. See area maps for opening dates on page 11 of the Idaho Upland Game, Turkey and Furbearer seasons and rules.
Pheasant release sites (new stocking areas in red, existing stocking areas in blue)
In addition to more release sites around the state, Fish and Game will stock about 34,000 pheasants this year, up from about 21,000 in 2019.
“Pheasants are the most popular game bird species for upland game hunters in the state,” said Jeff Knetter, Upland Game and Migratory Game Bird Coordinator. “Hunters and supporters of pheasant hunting asked us to expand the pheasant stocking program to include additional properties, and we now provide that opportunity.”
Hunters can see a full schedule of where and when pheasants will be released statewide on the pheasant stocking program webpage.
Know the rules where pheasants are stocked
New and existing pheasant stocking areas will fall under the same rules as Wildlife Management Areas where pheasants have been stocked in the past, which include:
- Each Upland Game Bird Permit allows the take of six pheasants, and multiple permits may be purchased.
- The two pheasant daily bag limit, and six pheasant possession limit apply
- When a pheasant is reduced to possession, the hunter must immediately validate the permit by entering the harvest date and location (see below) in non-erasable ink, and remove a notch from the permit for each pheasant taken.
- Shooting hours are from 10 a.m. to one half hour after sunset, during the pheasant season, with the exception of the Clearwater Region, where shooting time is 8 a.m. and online sign-up is required.
- All upland game bird hunters are required to wear at least 36 squares inches of visible hunter orange above the waist during pheasant season (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.
- The Upland Game Bird Permit is not required for pheasant hunting outside of Upland Game Bird Permit Release Areas.
New stocking areas have new location codes
Location codes are required to validate a permit after a pheasant is harvested, but they are not in the 2020-21 Upland Game, Turkey and Furbearer rules booklet. Please consider printing and carrying it with you if you plan to hunt on Upland Game Bird Permit Release Areas. You can double click and download the list below to your desktop. You can also pick up a printed card at regional Fish and Game offices.
Pheasant hunting rules, including shooting hours and bag limits, are different for hunting outside of areas where pheasants are stocked. Those rules can be also be found in the Idaho Upland Game, Turkey and Furbearer seasons and rules, and are largely unchanged from previous years.
See more about pheasant stocking