Utah Pheasant Hunt Will Be Longer
If you enjoy hunting one of the most colorful upland game birds in Utah — the ring-necked pheasant — you have lots of reasons to be excited. The number of wild birds is up this fall, more than 10,000 pen-reared pheasants will be released on public hunting areas, and the hunt on private land will be longer than last year.
This season might be the perfect season to hunt pheasants in Utah. Thousands of pheasants will be released on public hunting areas before the hunt opens on Nov. 4.
The state’s 2017 general pheasant hunt runs November 4 – Dec. 3 on both private and public land.
Starting this season, the pheasant hunt on both private land and public land will run for 30 days. In the past, the hunt on private land ran for only 14 days.
Jason Robinson, upland game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says the longer season on private lands will not have a negative effect on the state’s pheasant population. And it will provide more opportunities to hunt. He says in the 1970s — during the heyday of pheasant hunting in Utah — close to 100,000 hunters went afield. Most of them hunted on private agricultural land.
“Biologists were concerned about the pressure the state’s hunters might put on the pheasant population,” he says. “Since then, the amount of farm land has decreased, but so has the number of pheasant hunters. Today, about 20,000 people hunt pheasants. Because there are far fewer pheasant hunters than there once was, we’re comfortable allowing a longer season on private land.”
Robinson says removing male pheasants does not affect the overall population of pheasants that are available the following year.
“Plenty of roosters make it through the hunting season,” he says, “so enough roosters are available to breed all of the hens the following spring. In addition to not having a negative effect on the pheasant population, making the season dates the same — on both private and public land — makes the state’s pheasant hunting regulations much easier to understand and follow.”