Thousands of pheasants were released in Utah before the state’s general hunt started Nov. 2.
And the pheasant releases aren’t over. Between now and the end of the hunt, thousands of additional pheasants will be released on Thursdays or Fridays, just in time for hunters heading out for the weekend.
Jason Robinson, upland game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says releasing additional pheasants should keep hunting good right up to the end of the hunt. “If you couldn’t make it out for the opener,” he says, “plan on getting out before the season ends. Plenty of birds will be available.”
You can see where the birds will be released, and how to get to those areas, by scanning the list at http://j.mp/HjoTB6.
Thirteen of the release areas are waterfowl management areas. You must use nontoxic shot (for example, steel shot) when hunting on waterfowl management areas. Lead shot may not be used.
A chart that lists all of Utah’s waterfowl management areas and wildlife management areas, and shows the ones at which lead shot may not be used, is available on pages 29 and 30 of the 2013 – 2014 Utah Upland Game and Turkey Guidebook. You can get the free guidebook at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks.
Birds will also be released on select Walk-In Access (WIAs) areas in Box Elder, Cache, Emery, Utah and Wayne counties.
More information about the WIAs is available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/walkinaccess.
Still time to hunt
Across most of the state, the hunt ends Nov. 17. However, on state and federal land in 11 of Utah’s counties, the hunt runs until Dec. 1. The 11 counties are Carbon, Duchesne, Emery, Grand, Juab, Millard, San Juan, Sanpete, Sevier, Tooele and Uintah.
The DWR and Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (SFW) bought the birds that will be released. DWR biologists, SFW members and those who participated in Utah’s day-old pheasant chick adoption program will release the birds on wildlife management areas, waterfowl management areas and Walk-In Access areas.
If you hunt any of these areas, Robinson encourages you to wear plenty of hunter orange. “Wearing hunter orange is extremely important,” he says, “especially when you’re hunting in crowded conditions. You want to make sure other hunters can see you.”
If you have questions about hunting pheasants in Utah, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR’s Salt Lake City office at 801-538-4700.
Information is also available in the 2013 – 2014 Utah Upland Game and Turkey Guidebook available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks.
Image courtesy Utah Division of Wildlife resources