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Pheasant Stocking Increases

Fish and Game will plant about twice as many birds on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) this fall compared to past years. Planting operations will begin this week. Schedules for planting birds are not publicized by the department. The pheasant planting program was increased to more than 14,000 birds on WMAs this fall to accommodate public demand. Pheasants will be planted twice a week, with stocking tapering off as the end of the seasons approaches. The limit is two per day at WMAs where the pheasant permit is required. Prospects for hunting naturally reared ringnecks appear about average in most of southern Idaho this fall, slightly improved in southeast Idaho. Pheasant hunting has declined in most of southern Idaho since the early 1980s because development and changes in agricultural practices have radically reduced the amount of good pheasant habitat. Pheasant season began October 21. The season ends December 31 in the west and north and November 30 in eastern counties. Hunting pheasants on WMAs where they are stocked requires a permit costing $21.50 in addition to a hunting license. The fee helps offset the cost of planting game farm birds. This fee covers six birds but additional permits may be purchased. Pheasants are planted at eight WMAs across southern Idaho. Those are Fort Boise, Payette River, Montour, C.J. Strike, Sterling, Market Lake, Mud Lake and Cartier. WMA guides are available at Fish and Game offices. Information on WMAs is also available on the department's web site at http://www.state.id.us/fishgame.