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Discussion Starter #1
after comparing experiences on the recent season with a fellow Pheasant enthusiast, he commented on the Pheasant restoration program.

we are both excited about it and it led me to suggest the following:

due to heavy hunting pressure and natural predators, set aside some areas on game lands not allowing hunting for Pheasants.
we discussed the pros & cons such as would it help keep more birds or not,the size of each area,enforcement of the closed areas, would the rabbit/squirrel hunters or hunters without dogs be allowed inside or not and a number of other issues.

what do you think ?
 

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I heard straight from the head pheasant guys mouth. The goal of the PGC pheasant program on game lands, isn't restoration of a sustainable population. It's to put pheasants in the hunters bag. Sure there are restoration areas set aside to establish wild populations, but to designate those areas on game lands would defeat the goal of program which like I said, was sold to me as to maximize pheasants to the hunters bag..
 

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The following few years should be very exciting for pheasant hunters in the state! The overcrowding problem should be taken care of next year when the allotment increases to 200,000 which will allow the Commission to stock Public Access Properties which will spread out hunters! The Wild Pheasant Restoration Areas are doing very well and some should be opening up soon! The Commissions Pheasant Programs goal is to provide wild pheasant hunting in the(WPRA's) and countless hours of recreation statewide through the stocking program!

As far as what you suggest..I don't think it would be feasible as you would have to many people complaining about setting aside land and being not allowed to hunt there! You have people saying that restoring quail is a waist of time so you have to realize what the Game Commission has to deal with.

However scenarios like that are possible..I know of few lucky people that have farms next to where birds are released and due to the cover that they have on their farms they have birds year round! The birds escape the hunting pressure by spending time in the switch grass that they have planted!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
my suggestion arose because some of the hunters I meet on the game lands complain of not seeing any birds a day or 2 after a stocking. just maybe with these "safe" areas the birds would stay on the game land longer.

this, perhaps would help generate more interest in hunting.
the hunting pressure here in the southeast part of the state is very high & I believe we need help to keep our kids interested.
due to the high human population in this area, more game lands are also needed.
 

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More in season releases will help alleviate the problem. There are supposed to be more in season releases next year too. Not sure it will be enough more to make a big difference.
 

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how are the stocking days going to vary from past years? will the season opener, 1st and 2nd inseason stockings still be the same? what part of the season would they add in more stocking dates?
 

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I know im only dreaming but Id love to see the smaller stockings spreadout 2-3x per week totaling 15 or so per season (like Jersey)... the dogs would really appreaciate that...
 

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Chris Ryan said:
I know im only dreaming but Id love to see the smaller stockings spreadout 2-3x per week totaling 15 or so per season (like Jersey)... the dogs would really appreaciate that...
That's a very good point Chris, NJ gets picked on pretty good, but their pheasant stocking program is actually pretty good.If you own a bird dog in NJ you will have plenty of days afield with your dog and rarely not have any action. Of course you want to avoid Saturdays and stocking days, but the other days almost always offer action with very little competition.

Years ago I volunteered to help with the stocking in NJ. The main truck would deliver the birds to a predetermined spot at the WMA to be stocked. This could be done during the day and after giving us our birds the truck was off to another WMA. We held the birds to AFTER LEGAL SHOOTING HOURS,we then took the birds to spots all around the gamelands and spread them out, we tried not to put them in the exact spot after each stocking. On the next stocking day we would give the empty crates back to the main truck and they would in return give us more birds.I am not sure if NJ still does it like this or not but it worked very well. The whole key is having volunteers willing to do this.
 

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FLDBRED said:
Years ago I volunteered to help with the stocking in NJ. The main truck would deliver the birds to a predetermined spot at the WMA to be stocked. This could be done during the day and after giving us our birds the truck was off to another WMA. We held the birds to AFTER LEGAL SHOOTING HOURS,we then took the birds to spots all around the gamelands and spread them out, we tried not to put them in the exact spot after each stocking. On the next stocking day we would give the empty crates back to the main truck and they would in return give us more birds.I am not sure if NJ still does it like this or not but it worked very well. The whole key is having volunteers willing to do this.
Did you hold the birds until after legal shooting hours had opened or after legal shooting hours had closed?

Perhaps I'm being a little too callous, but this sounds mainly like a great way for the volunteers and their buddies to be ensured great shooting throughout the season.
 

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We held the birds until legal shooting hours had ended, this awarded us a little day lite to see where we were going. No motorized vehicles other than ours were allowed on the WMA's so if people wanted to see where the birds were released they had to follow on foot without loaded guns.

Like any other VOLUNTEER situation you give up something, mostly a lot of your own personal time. Did some volunteers hunt some of the areas they stocked, probably, but after they took their two birds the rest were for everyone else to enjoy.By and far the vast majority of volunteers didn't even hunt on the stocking days. The reward was knowing that there were birds spread out through out the season. It worked out pretty well!
 

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bad primer said:
my suggestion arose because some of the hunters I meet on the game lands complain of not seeing any birds a day or 2 after a stocking. just maybe with these "safe" areas the birds would stay on the game land longer.

this, perhaps would help generate more interest in hunting.
the hunting pressure here in the southeast part of the state is very high & I believe we need help to keep our kids interested.
due to the high human population in this area, more game lands are also needed.
The problem, which I saw for the first time this year, is the Game Commission announcing the stocking day, and even someone at the game farm telling their buddies what time the truck will arrive.
I happened to be hunting one day this year beginning early morning. Until about 2:00 o'clock, I was the only one there. I came back to my truck to replenish my dog's water and vehicles came in like it was a caravan! I couldn't figure it out until one guy said the stocking truck was coming. I put my dog in the truck, and watched the slaughter until I couldn't stand it anymore. It was pathetic. Birds were being shot on the ground, out of trees, and 20 feet from the road. This was a Friday. I went back on Saturday early and hunted for 5 hours. The dog, very experienced on pheasant and grouse, never hit scent.

The kids in school never had a chance. The folks who work never had a chance. It was a disgusting spectacle.

The Game Commission is responsible for this perversion. What's next....let the truck chasers stand in line and call "pull"????
 

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For years I worked a job that gave me fri., sat. and sun. off. Friday was always my day to hunt. If we found birds quick, I'd know they stocked already that week. Hunt all morning and get lucky to see a bird or two, the stocking truck hadn't gone yet so we'd take a lunch and go back in the afternoon. Hunting hard all morning for little or no birds eased my mind about going back and shooting birds not long off the truck. I found through the years our area almost always gets stocked fridays, and a fair amount of hunters go out friday afternoons knowing by then birds were stocked sometime this week. This year I hunted the first Fri. morning as usual, there were a couple of us there trying to earn a bird the hard way. Went for lunch about noon, came back about 3:00 expecting to see 7 or 8 cars there, only to see over 20 cars.
I blame it not only on the pgc being more specific about when they were releasing the birds, but also many hunters knew with the flood loss of birds they'd be tougher to find on Saturdays and took off work to go.
Back on the subject, no I don't think they should set aside areas on the game lands to not shoot pheasants. As stated, the goal is to provide pheasant hunting and shooting opportunities, and these areas would be no different then the yards and private fields that don't allow any hunting that surround the game lands, safe havens that allow the pheasants to escape hunters during the season only be eaten by a predator.
 

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I must have missed something that the rest of you guys did not. Why do you think the PGC will be stocking 200,000 pheasants next year? Why do you think there will be more stocking days and stockings other than on the regular Pa. Gamelands.? I had not heard any of this until I saw it here.
 
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