Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Commentary: Where’s the science on pheasants?

Photo by Steve Oehlenschlager

Cooperstown, Pa.

How do we justify stocking ring-necked pheasants?

They do not survive in Pennsylvania except in rare instances.

They cost more than twice as much as what license money they bring in (Game Commission Financial Report, 2021).

They are no longer used as a bargaining chip to open private lands to public hunting.

Hunting pheasants causes three times more hunter-related shooting accidents than any other hunting in our state (October, 2022 Pennsylvania Game News, A.J. Garcia).

They are raised domestically in large, confined numbers that could easily come in contact with avian flu or other undocumented avian diseases.

They are methodically dispersed into the wild throughout the state among turkey, grouse, songbirds and all wild bird populations.

Private enterprise would readily replace the shooting opportunities for sportsmen, and free enterprise would balance the supply with the demand if the Game Commission gets out of the pheasant-raising business.

How do we justify stocking pheasants? Where is the science biologically and financially?

If I am not mistaken, the Game Commission is charged by the Legislature with managing wildlife, not providing targets.

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