The cold winter months couldn’t be a better time to think about warm spring weather, and the arrival of pheasant chicks hatching at the Reynolds Game Farm. Pheasant chicks will be available through the DEC’s day-old pheasant chick program. In 2022, this program provided 30,000 free chicks to approved applicants. Although the chicks are provided at no charge, there are several important requirements to consider to participate:
• Release sites must be open to public pheasant hunting and signed permission from the property owner or land manager (for public lands) must be secured.
• Release sites must be large enough to hold pheasants, for example, a five-acre field is unlikely to be suitable.
• The applicant must have suitable pens in which to raise the chicks until they are released into the wild.
For more information on the program requirements and useful information on how to build pens, read the Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program Guide
This program wouldn’t exist without the public’s help, and volunteers increase fall hunting opportunities in the face of diminished wild populations. In addition, it provides an educational experience through animal husbandry and the outdoors.
The department will utilize its online application Applications must be submitted by March 25. Anyone with questions about program eligibility can contact their regional wildlife office or the Reynolds Game Farm at 607-273-2768.