Due to a mild winter and other favorable conditions, the 2016 Wisconsin pheasant season is looking like it will be a great one.
The 2016 Wisconsin pheasant season opens statewide at 9:00 A.M. on Saturday, 15 October 2016 and runs through 31 December. Hunters interested in hunting pheasant need a Wisconsin small game license and a 2016 Pheasant Stamp.
A mild winter with less-than-average snowfall combined with an early spring and lots of rain resulted in a healthy pheasant population that was able to take advantage of great breeding and nesting conditions. This was confirmed by the 2016 Wisconsin pheasant survey, which showed a slight increase in pheasant numbers compared to 2015. That being said, the 2016 numbers are still slightly below the running five-year average for the state.
According to Brian Dhuey, a Wisconcin DNR wildlife survey coordinator:
While pheasant breeding numbers have rebounded a bit from a few harsh winters in 2013 and 2014, overall breeding numbers have been declining for several years and overall population numbers are down from the highs seen in the 1990s. While brood rearing conditions may have impacted pheasants in 2016, overall pheasant numbers are likely impacted by declining grassland habitat due to losses in Conservation Reserve Program grassland acres throughout the pheasant range.
It is estimated that over 47,000 hunters pursued pheasants in 2015 and successfully harvested nearly 300,000 birds. With a little luck, hunters this year will easily surpass that harvest total.
During the opening weekend of the 2016 Wisconsin pheasant season on 15-16 October, hunters are only allowed to harvest one cock. This bag limit increases to two cocks for the rest of the season from 17 October through 31 December. Hunters are allowed to possess three times the daily bag limit.
Like what you see here? You can read more great hunting articles by John McAdams on his hunting blog. Follow him on Facebook The Big Game Hunting Blog, Twitter @TheBigGameHunt and on Instagram The_Big_Game_Hunter