Outdoors Report: How Pheasants are Helping the Game Commission Save Money

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Game Commission is looking for ways to save money, with pheasants? It’s been 17 years since the Game Commission has had an increase in the hunting license fees – their primary source of income.

So, besides cuts in staff and programs, they have had to find more ways to save money. One way new for this year is the pheasant propagation program.

“Rather than raising a chick from eggs that are laid and hatched at our game farms, we are planning in the coming year to purchase day-old chicks from a private propagator,” Game Commission spokesman Travis Lau said. “We figure that when all is said and done, it will amount to a savings of more than a thousand dollars.”

This new program promises the hunters in Pennsylvania not only more pheasants but more pheasant stockings throughout the entire season.

“Somewhere in the neighborhood of 240,000 birds this year. That’s about a 25,000 more that were put on the ground last year. We are hoping that our hunters not only take advantage of the opening day and those early season pheasant opportunities but also stick with it and will continue to see throughout the duration of the season,” Lau said.

An important part of the entire pheasant program is the harvest rate. They want to make sure that most of the birds end up in hunters’ game bags.

“Half of the pheasants that are released by the Game Commission end up in the hunter’s game bag. We are hoping to increase the harvest rate in the future just by strategically stocking birds when they are more likely to be harvested by hunters as opposed to dying for other reasons,” Lau said.

More birds for less money? Sounds like a deal to me. For ABC27, I’m Kermit Henning.


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