Montana landowners interested in raising and releasing ring-necked pheasants next year have until Jan. 15, 2013 to submit an application to the state wildlife agency.
This new application deadline is among several recommendations made by a citizens’ advisory council and now a part of Montana's Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program's strategic plan.
"The new deadline is aimed at improving the flow of program logistics," noted Debbie Hohler, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' UGBEP's program biologist. "Once the release sites are evaluated by wildlife biologists, FWP can authorize the number of pheasants for release at a time that coincides with when pheasant raisers are ordering their chicks."
Under FWP's Upland Game Bird Release Program, landowners who attempt to establish pheasant populations in suitable habitat can be reimbursed for raising and releasing pheasants.
Landowners may apply annually for up to five consecutive years to establish pheasants. Projects must comprise at least 100 contiguous acres of land and contain a combination of habitat components—including cover and food—that upland game birds need to survive.
Lands enrolled in the pheasant release program must allow free public access to hunt upland game birds during the season the releases take place.
Mail applications by Jan. 15, 2013 to: FWP–Wildlife Bureau, Attn: UGBEP Pheasant Releases, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701. Program pheasants are usually be released between Aug. 1 and Sept. 15.
Hunting preserves, lands that host a commercial hunting enterprise and lands where hunting rights are leased or paid for are not eligible.
For more information, and an on-line application form, visit FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov—search "Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program," or contact Debbie Hohler at: 406-444-5674, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.