News

DEC Accepting Applications For Pheasant Release Program

DEC Press Release

Posted last year

Applications for Cooperative Program due by March 25, 2016

The application period for the cooperative Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program to enhance opportunities for pheasant hunting in New York is now open, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. This program provides pheasant hunting opportunities through a partnership among DEC, sportsmen and sportswomen, 4-H youth, and landowners who are interested in rearing and releasing pheasants.

"Pheasant hunting has a history of introducing many young people to the sport of hunting and this program helps continue that tradition," said DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos. "The Day-old Pheasant Chick Program is a fantastic learning experience. It's also a hands-on way for youth and other cooperators to partner with DEC to raise and release pheasants to increase hunting opportunities."

The Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program began in the early 1900s, with pheasant eggs and chicks distributed to farmers and rural youth. Today, day-old chicks are available at no cost to participants who are able to provide a brooding facility, a covered outdoor rearing pen, and an adequate release site. Approved applicants will receive the day-old chicks in April, May, or June.

All release sites must be approved in advance by DEC and must be open for public pheasant hunting opportunities. No chicks obtained through the Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program can be released on private shooting preserves. The program is funded through the State Conservation Fund from license fees paid by hunters, trappers, and anglers.

Daily care is necessary to monitor the health of the birds and to ensure there is adequate feed and water for the rapidly growing chicks. The pheasants may be released beginning when they are eight weeks old and no later than December 1. In 2015, DEC distributed more than 31,500 day-old pheasant chicks to qualified applicants.

Applications must be filed with a DEC regional wildlife manager by March 25, 2016. Individuals interested in this program should contact their nearest DEC regional office for applications and additional information:

R1 - Nassau and Suffolk counties:
SUNY at Stony Brook
50 Circle Road
Stony Brook, NY 11790
(631) 444-0310

R3 - Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties:
21 South Putt Corners Rd.
New Paltz, NY 12561
(845) 256-3098

R4 - Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, Schenectady and Schoharie counties:
65561 State Hwy 10, Suite 1
Stamford, NY 12167
(607) 652-7367

R5 - Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties:
1115 Route 86, PO Box 296
Ray Brook, NY 12977
(518) 897-1291

R6 - Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida and St. Lawrence counties:
317 Washington Street
Watertown, NY 13601
315-785-2263

R7 - Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, Tioga and Tompkins counties:
1285 Fisher Ave. Cortland, NY 13045
(607) 753-3095 x 247

R8 - Chemung, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Yates counties:
6274 East Avon-Lima Rd.
Avon, NY 14414
(585) 226-5380

R9 - Allegany, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie, Niagara and Wyoming counties:
182 East Union, Suite 3
Allegany, NY 14706-1328
(716) 372-0645

For more information on the Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program, including a downloadable "Pheasant Rearing Guide" and application, please visit DEC's website.