Back in the day - Pheasants - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Back in the day - Pheasants

I'm a mid-50 yr old baby-boomer. That said, being on the younger side of the b-boom, I'm fairly certain I never hunted over a non-supplemented stock of wild pheasants. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of wild birds around, but by my time, they were being supplemented by PGC planted birds. This is back when the PGC would stock local farms, mostly coops. Back when there wasn't much of an issue gaining access to smallgame hunting on farms. I REALLY enjoyed hunting the various local farms and hedgerows for them back then. So much different than crowding into a GL nowadays, which is pretty much the only place to find the birds now.


So, to that. When did the PGC start stocking pheasants over the wild population ? Did they start since the inception of the PGC ? I really don't know. It also seems that Southeast and Southcentral PA, had a different dynamic than we had here for pheasants. I believe they were mostly wild 4-5 decades ago, and didn't get much of the supplement stocking that we got over here ?

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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 04:14 PM
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from the old timer that helped me get started hunting told me around 1920 the PGC first released birds.
the program we are familiar with ramped up in the 60`s if I remember correctly as the hunter participation peaked in the 70`s .
the early 80`s were lousy for me as the number of pheasants were down dramatically in this area ( south east PA).
number of birds seen picked up for me starting in 88 or 89.



this is my opinion based on my hunting journal recording hits ,missed and flushes.
someone with documentation from the PGC would be able to give better info...............


I would be interested in the history of the pheasant program & numbers of birds released each year by the PGC, perhaps John or Dick
would be able to access this information.

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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 04:32 PM
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from the pheasant Plan:




History and Role of Propagation




Propagation and release has played a significant role throughout the history of pheasants and pheasant hunting in PA. Pheasants have been purchased and released by the PGC, raised and released by the PGC, and raised and released by sportsmen’s organizations.


In 1915 the first large-scale stocking of game birds by the PGC occurred with the release of 2,096 purchased pheasants. In 1929, the PGC began the propagation of pheasants on an extensive scale with the establishment of game farms in western and eastern PA. The Western Game Farm, originally called the "Jordan State Game Farm," was started in Lawrence County, and later moved to its present location in Crawford County. Also, the Fisher State Game Farm, located in Montgomery County, was started; and later renamed the Eastern Game Farm.


In 1929 production at the PGC’s two game farms using range-reared methods was 30,000. They were released in the fall at about 10-12 weeks of age. In 1933, with mechanical methods of incubation, production rose to 40,000 birds. These birds were released in the summer at 6-8 weeks of age. However, the Commission found that these birds did not survive to the fall hunting season. In 1935, they began to release cocks and hens in the spring. The main thrust of the stockings was establishment of self-sustaining populations (Allen 1956). However, later research would show that game farm pheasants contributed little to wild populations (Hartman and Sheffer 1971).



PS just ask an older baby boomer by crackie

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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 04:38 PM
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see pages 53 & 54 thru 61 for the numbers and costs






https://www.pgc.pa.gov/Wildlife/Wild...lan__Final.pdf
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Last edited by timberdoodle; 11-12-2018 at 04:40 PM.
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 04:47 PM
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I saw a roadkilled pheasant on Saturday. First pheasant ive see in years.
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 05:49 PM
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We seem to be around the same age. I'm also in my mid 50's. I remember as a kid in the 70's wild pheasants in our local woodlot that we all played in. The older kids in the neighborhood hunted them. I remember also hunting under power lines and other such fields the GC stocked. These were not game lands but just private right of ways for the electric company and they'd allow public hunting. I didn't start hunting birds on game lands until the 80's.
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 06:06 PM
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I have been hunting pheasants since the late 50's and have seen and experienced the best of it. Through the 50's 60, and into the late 70's I experienced great pheasant hunting. Even as a kid in the late 50's if you didn't take two birds a day, you could not shoot. I have seen over 100 birds come out of a standing corn field from one push through it. Of course that was when the weeds in the field were almost as high as I was between the rows. Once clean farming took hold what once was great pheasant habitat became almost a biological desert. Gone were the fallow fields of fox grass and gone were the fence rows and gone was the cover and food left behind by the old corn picker. With the introduction of the corn combine and then plowing under the stubble a field mouse had a hard time surviving on farm land. Couple that with the end of the sickle bar to mow hay and two mowings a year with the advent of the haybine and 3 or four mowings a year and earlier mowing when the hens were nesting the hand writing was on the wall for the demise of the ring neck pheasant. I remember seeing rosters with 10 or 12 hens in field after field all wild birds. I am glad I saw it because a ot of hunters are too young to have seen it. Where I hunted was not supplemented with stocked birds for a long time. It takes miles of habitat, feeding, hiding and nesting and we do not nor will we ever have that again. I am talking about Lebanon Co. Lancaster Co.was about the same, phenomenal hunting.

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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woods walker View Post
I have been hunting pheasants since the late 50's and have seen and experienced the best of it. Through the 50's 60, and into the late 70's I experienced great pheasant hunting. Even as a kid in the late 50's if you didn't take two birds a day, you could not shoot. I have seen over 100 birds come out of a standing corn field from one push through it. Of course that was when the weeds in the field were almost as high as I was between the rows. Once clean farming took hold what once was great pheasant habitat became almost a biological desert. Gone were the fallow fields of fox grass and gone were the fence rows and gone was the cover and food left behind by the old corn picker. With the introduction of the corn combine and then plowing under the stubble a field mouse had a hard time surviving on farm land. Couple that with the end of the sickle bar to mow hay and two mowings a year with the advent of the haybine and 3 or four mowings a year and earlier mowing when the hens were nesting the hand writing was on the wall for the demise of the ring neck pheasant. I remember seeing rosters with 10 or 12 hens in field after field all wild birds. I am glad I saw it because a ot of hunters are too young to have seen it. Where I hunted was not supplemented with stocked birds for a long time. It takes miles of habitat, feeding, hiding and nesting and we do not nor will we ever have that again. I am talking about Lebanon Co. Lancaster Co.was about the same, phenomenal hunting.

Same here in Cumberland and Dauphin counties. I started in 1964 and it was as John described. Lots of quail and rabbits too. We didn't keep dogs, we hunted birds like we hunted deer, with man drives. We had a group of at least 10 hunters, all family, between my mom and dad's sides. A little later, we had two families that were friends that we also hunted with. Man, those were the days. We continued to have a few wild birds here until about the mid 80's. I didn't get serious about hunting deer until the small game started to dry up.
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 07:32 PM
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We had great hunting in the early 70s, near the Lewisburg Lock Up. We could flush ,on the average, 150 birds on opening day, sometimes more. By 1978, it was all but over.
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 07:39 PM
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I remember in the 60's local VFW use to have a pool for the longest tail feather
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