Tag Archives: pheasant

CDFW and Partners Investigate Decline in Pheasant Population

pheasantThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recently hosted a pheasant ecology workshop to examine possible causes of a decline of the state’s pheasant population over the last 25 years.

Held in cooperation with Pheasants Forever, the workshop convened more than 45 state and federal scientists, public and private land managers, and representatives from Ducks Unlimited and the California Waterfowl Association.

Participants reviewed research from scientists at the US Geological Survey and heard from pheasant experts from across the nation. Data collected showed that contributing factors to the decline include changes in agricultural practices, growth of forested habitats in historic wetland and grassland environments, climate change and predation from increasing raven populations.

“The combination of modern analysis tools and on-the-ground land management techniques helped us chart a map forward, which is especially important during the drought,” said CDFW Upland Game Program Scientist Matt Meshriy. “We look forward to collaborating with Pheasants Forever and other conservation partners interested in this species.”

The workshop, held on April 30 and May 1, included presentations by Dr. Les Flake of South Dakota State University and Senior Research Biologist Dave Musil of Idaho Fish and Game. CDFW managers from six state wildlife areas and federal partners from the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complexes also presented reports on site-specific conditions that described the breadth of habitat challenges facing pheasants and other upland nesting bird species throughout the state.

Pheasants were introduced in California in the 1890s and adapted well in the agricultural regions of the state. By the mid-1960s, about 250,000 hunters were spending about 800,000 days afield in pursuit of this game bird. Since the mid-1990s, populations have been steadily declining. In 2010, only about 30,000 pheasant hunters spent about 100,000 days afield.

Pheasants Forever is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 140,000 members and 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent; the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. Since its creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $577 million on 475,000 habitat projects benefiting 10 million acres nationwide.

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Media Contacts:
Scott Gardner, Wildlife Branch, Upland Game Program, (916) 801-6257

Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

Pheasant Hunting on Mondays during the 2012 Season

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) will offer several Monday pheasant hunting opportunities at northern California Type A wildlife areas in 2012.

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The pheasant season opens on the second Saturday of November (Nov. 10) and the length of the season will remain the same: 44 consecutive days for the general season and 60 consecutive days for the archery season. For the 2012 hunting season, wildlife areas are open for pheasant hunting as follows:

Type A wildlife areas in the Sacramento Valley (Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Delevan National Wildlife Refuge, Colusa National Wildlife Refuge, Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area and Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area) will be open for pheasant hunting on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays, and only the first Monday (Nov. 12) of the pheasant season.  Grizzly Island Wildlife Area will be open for pheasant hunting on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays, and only the second Monday (Nov. 19) of the pheasant season.

Type A wildlife areas in the San Joaquin Valley (Los Banos Wildlife Area, Mendota Wildlife Area, North Grasslands Wildlife Area and San Luis National Wildlife Refuge) will be open for pheasant hunting on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays only during the pheasant season.  Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge will be open for pheasant hunting on the first Monday of the pheasant season (Nov. 12).

The Wister Unit of Imperial Wildlife Area in Imperial County and San Jacinto Wildlife Area in Riverside County will be closed to pheasant hunting this year.

Type C wildlife areas will remain open as normal.

DFG reduced the number of days that certain wildlife areas were open for pheasant hunting in recent years due to a decline the number of hunters targeting pheasant and the cost to operate check stations during the first week of the season.  Some of those reductions will remain in place for 2012, but pheasant hunting will be offered in some locations on the first or second Monday of the season.

The modifications of the shoot days on Type A wildlife areas are pursuant to subsections 550(b)(1) and 550(b)(2) of Title 14, California Code of Regulations.

For more information on specific hunting opportunities, hunters should contact their regional DFG office.

Media Contacts:
Kari Lewis, DFG Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3789
Andrew Hughan, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8944

Special Pheasant Hunting Opportunities Offered In North Central Region

Media Contacts:
North Central Region Hunter Info Line, (916) 358-2839
Sara Holm, DFG Wildlife Branch, (530) 346-6305
Dana Michaels, DFG Communications, (916) 322-2420 

Hunters seeking opportunities during the upcoming pheasant season can visit the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Upland Game Bird Stamp Program’s webpage to apply online. It lists numerous hunts statewide, including opportunities in DFG’s North Central Region, which includes Plumas, Sierra, Butte, Glenn, Lake, Colusa, Yolo, Sutter, Yuba, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Sacramento, Amador, Alpine, Calaveras and San Joaquin counties.

DFG’s North Central Region will offer two pheasant apprentice youth hunts at Highland Springs and Headwater’s Honker Preserve, one wild bird apprentice youth and one wild bird family pheasant hunt at Little Dry Creek (Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area), and eight apprentice women, youth or mobility impaired pheasant hunts at Nelson Slough in the Feather River Wildlife Area. Applications and information are available online at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/uplandgame/gamebird.

Hunters must create an account using a valid e-mail address and submit an application with their choice of hunts listed in order of preference. Hunters may apply only once for each hunt, either as an applicant or as a guest. Submitting multiple applications will result in disqualification.

To apply online you will need a valid e-mail address, hunter’s name, address and phone number, 2011-2012 hunting license GO ID and, if applicable, information about mobility impairment and special accommodations needed.

Hunters will be selected by a computerized drawing for only one hunt, and only successful applicants will be notified.

Special hunts are provided in cooperation with many volunteer organizations. The purchase of an Upland Game Bird Stamp supports these special hunts and other programs that provide additional Upland Game Bird hunting opportunities. All upland game bird hunters, except those with Junior hunting licenses, must purchase an Upland Game Bird Stamp.

Special Pheasant Hunting Opportunities Offered In Central Region

Media contacts:
Ben Lewis, DFG Upland Game Bird Stamp Program, (559) 243-4005, ext. 165
Kyle Orr, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8958

Pheasant standing in dry grass
Pheasant

People seeking hunting opportunities during the upcoming pheasant season can visit the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Upland Game Bird Stamp Program’s webpage to apply online. It lists numerous hunts statewide, including opportunities in DFG’s Central Region, which includes Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne counties.

DFG’s Central Region will offer 20 apprentice junior pheasant hunts, 18 apprentice family pheasant hunts, three apprentice women pheasant hunts and one special mobility-impaired pheasant hunt. Applications and information are available online at www.nrm.dfg.ca.gov/GameBirdHeritageHunts.

Hunters must create an account using a valid e-mail address and submit an application with their choice of hunts listed in order of preference. Hunters may apply only once for each hunt, either as an applicant or as a guest. Submitting multiple applications will result in disqualification.

To apply online you will need: a valid e-mail address, hunter’s name, address and phone number, 2011-2012 hunting license GO ID, and, if applicable, information about mobility impairment and special accommodations needed.

Adult pheasant flying against azure sky
Pheasant in flight

Hunters will be selected by a computerized drawing for one hunt only, and only successful applicants will be notified.

Special hunts are provided in cooperation with many volunteer organizations. The purchase of an Upland Game Bird Stamp supports these special hunts and other programs that provide additional Upland Game Bird hunting opportunities. All upland game bird hunters, except those with Junior hunting licenses, must purchase an Upland Game Bird Stamp.

Application Deadlines Approach for Junior and Family Game Bird Heritage Hunts

Contacts:
Nick Bechtel, DFG Game Bird Heritage Program, (805) 965-3059
Andrew Hughan, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8944

Deadlines are approaching to apply for Apprentice Family and Junior pheasant hunts at three locations in the Southern California region. All hunts require an application be completed and submitted to the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) as space is limited. Applications can be submitted on DFG’s website (www.dfg.ca.gov).

All three events are Game Bird Heritage Apprentice Family and Junior pheasant hunts and will be held on private lands. Hunt dates and applications deadlines are as follows:

  • New Cuyama, Calif. (Santa Barbara County) will host morning and afternoon hunts on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 on private lands west of New Cuyama. The deadline to apply for these hunts is Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010.
  • Peace Valley (Los Angeles County) will host hunts on Saturday, Jan. 15and Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011 on private lands near Highway 138 and Interstate 5. There will be morning and afternoon hunts both days. The deadline to apply for these hunts is Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010.
  • Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve (San Diego County) will host hunts on Saturday, Feb. 5 and Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011 on state-owned land about 40 miles east of San Diego. There will be morning and afternoon hunts both days. The deadline to apply for these hunts is Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011.

These special hunts are provided by DFG’s Game Bird Heritage Program, in cooperation with many volunteer organizations. Game Bird Heritage Special Hunts are intended to provide beginning-level educational activities that support Hunter Education programs and to encourage the participation of apprentice hunters, as well as to provide additional public hunting opportunities for upland game birds on both public and private lands.

For information on eligibility or other details please contact Nick Bechtel at (805) 965-3059.