Long-time Idaho pheasant hunters often lament the passing of the “good ol' days” of pheasant hunting here in Southwest Idaho. It’s true that with development (who remembers hunting pheasants at the Boise Towne Square Mall site?) and changing farming practices, pheasant numbers are a fraction of their former glory.
But you can still get a glimpse of that glory thanks to the pheasant stocking program on select Idaho Fish and Game properties.
Southwest Idaho is home to five WMAs, and four of those will be stocking pen-reared pheasants for the 2018 fall season. Beginning the week of Oct. 14, Fort Boise, Payette River, Montour and C.J. Strike WMAs will be stocked, with bird releases conducted every week through late December.
Check the pheasant stocking schedule to see how many birds will be released at your favorite WMA.
Exact release times and dates are not published in order to give everyone a fair chance of harvesting a pheasant. On busy areas such as Fort Boise and Montour WMAs, most birds are often harvested within a day or two of being released. On C.J. Strike WMA, some stocked birds usually survive a little longer, but hunters will have to work through heavy cover to find them.
The birds are a bargain if you choose to hunt them. WMA pheasant hunters must purchase a WMA pheasant permit, which entitles the holder to six roosters for only $23.75 (if you are price-locked!)
The pheasant bag limit is two roosters/day; WMA upland game hunters must also wear at least 36 square inches of visible hunter orange above the waist while hunting roosters on a WMA (a hunter orange hat meets this requirement).
Complete WMA hunting rules for pheasants can be found on page 13 of the Idaho Upland Game, Turkey & Furbearer rule book. Printed booklets are available at most license vendors.
Have a safe and enjoyable hunting season.