Wild pheasants will be coming to Pa. from the West this year
It looks like the Pennsylvania Game Commission won't have any problems this year procuring wild pheasants to stock in its Hegins-Gratz and Franklin wild pheasant recovery areas.
According to John Dunn, acting director of the agency's Bureau of Wildlife Management, western states, where wild pheasant numbers took a nosedive in recent years, are seeing a resurgence in bird numbers this year.
"The pheasant populations are up this year, in most of the Midwestern states in particular, and in Montana and South Dakota and North Dakota," he told commissioners at their recent meeting in Harrisburg.
"So in talking with the South Dakota pheasant biologist, biologically he sees no reason that would prevent them from trapping birds for us this year and getting us 300 to 600 – particularly around towns where they don't allow hunting."
Dunn also noted that he recently was in contact with biologists in Kansas and that they also conveyed positive reports about pheasant numbers.
"That is another possibility for us, so right now we have three potential possibilities to get wild pheasants – working with the Indian reservation in Montana, South Dakota and Kansas," he said.
"Our next step will be to make director-level contact with these wildlife management agencies to start the transfer process. We are also going to need help from our Pheasant Forever partners to make this happen."
Last year, after receiving wild pheasants from western states for a number of years, commission officials had to accept the fact that western states would not agree to trap and transfer birds to the Keystone State because their populations were sagging. But then in early winter, a native American reservation in Montana abruptly agreed in early winter to provide several hundred birds.