Extra pheasants in the field this fall - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Extra pheasants in the field this fall

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Pheasant hunters will have better odds bagging a bird this fall because the DNR has hatched a record number of birds at the state game farm.

The DNR plans to release 75,000 pheasants onto public hunting lands this fall, that's 21,000 more birds than last year.

"With the release of all these birds, it does give a little boost to nature again," says chapter president of the Chippewa Valley Pheasants Forever, Doug Burrows.

Here in the Chippewa Valley most areas will receive the same amount as last year, but a new property has been added to the stocking list.

"There was a property added in Chippewa County, the Hallie Marsh Wildlife Area just outside of Lake Hallie.  They're going to receive about 200 birds this year," says DNR wildlife biologist Jess Carstens.

The Chippewa Valley Chapter of Pheasants Forever worked to purchase the marsh land and donate it to the DNR for wildlife.

"Now with the release of birds, it's just going to supplement and add to that and also give the general public an opportunity to go out and have a better chance of actually seeing the wildlife and perhaps getting a bird or two," says Burrows.

"We've got tremendous cooperation from our local PF (Pheasants Forever) chapters and our local sportsmen groups including the Eau Claire Rod and Gun Club," says Carstens.

Another support system of the state's stocking program is the pheasant stamp many hunters purchase with their small game license.

"The pheasant stamp is the primary funding source of the operations at the game farm," says Carstens.

That's the only state funded farm, but local sports clubs also raise birds.

"Provide a certain percentage of their mature birds back to the state, which we then release on public hunting grounds.  The club is free to release the remaining birds on private property throughout the county," says Carstens.

"Private land is intended for public hunting or hunting with permission.  So it's not going to a game farm or non-hunting area," says Burrows.

Meaning everyone gets a fair chance to bag a pheasant this fall.

The DNR will begin stocking public hunting lands just before the pheasant season starts on October 19th.

They will stock the first six weeks into the season which ends December 31st.

Let me know if you'll be hunting pheasants this fall on Twitter @crusan_michael

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