Pennsylvania just released 240,000 pheasants, and it might be the last time. Hunters need to get their gear and get out there!
A press release from the Pennsylvania Game Commission reported a boon in reared pheasant numbers so large that the PA Game Commission has set almost a quarter of a million ringnecks loose on the Keystone State.
Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough said, “Against all odds, Pennsylvania’s pheasant hunters once again have plenty to be excited about this year”
As great as this is, there are other issues. The Game Commission has stated, “without a license-fee increase in the very near future, this might well be the last year the Game Commission releases pheasants for hunters.”
The problem is a combination of ever-increasing costs, coupled with the fact that the PGC has not increased license fees in over 17 years. Instead they have found smart ways to keep the release program going by other means, including purchasing day-old chicks from private propagators instead of raising them from breeder birds on their own game farms. Not only will it save a whopping $200,000, but the breeder birds have been slated for release as well, meaning even more birds in the field this season!
But, as Commissioner Hough said, “It’s no secret the Game Commission has been navigating some rough financial waters; 17 years without one adjustment for inflation to our primary source of revenue–the hunting license–will do that.”
The bottom line is, there are plenty of birds out there for hunters, especially youth hunters and their providers. Getting a license has never been easier, but it’s up to all those who would grab their vest, shotgun, and a partner and get outside into Pennsylvania’s country and take advantage of the bounty while it’s still available.