ALBANY - Applications are being accepted through Sept. 1 for participation in the pheasant hunt program.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said the program enables interest groups to obtain pheasants for use in sponsored hunts to engage more people with the outdoors, especially youth, women, novices, veterans and people with disabilities.
“Sponsored pheasant hunts are a perfect opportunity for experienced hunters to introduce novices to New York’s longstanding tradition of pheasant hunting,” Seggos said. “Participants are taught important skills, hunting safety, and ethics, and have a memorable experience outdoors thanks to the time and commitment of the volunteers who put these great hunts together.”
Sponsored hunts are free, non-competitive events coordinated by a group, club, individual or organization. Dedicated local sportsmen and sportswomen share their expertise with beginning hunters in a supportive environment. This program gives individuals the chance to embark on a lifelong pursuit of hunting and outdoor enjoyment.
In addition to the pheasants reared for fall stocking throughout New York state, staff at the DEC’s Reynolds Game Farm raise 2,000 pheasants each year for sponsored hunts across the state. The DEC provides up to 50 game-farm-raised pheasants to each sponsoring organization free of charge for these hunts.
Volunteers are key to this program’s success. If an individual or a group would like to sponsor a hunt, contact the DEC regional office for an application. Program requirements and an application may also be downloaded from the DEC’s website.
If an application is approved, the applicant will be required to make arrangements with staff at the Reynolds Game Farm, located in Ithaca, Tompkins County, to coordinate a delivery time, date and location.
The regional office to contact in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties is at 317 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601. (315) 785-2263.
The regional office for Oswego County is at 1285 Fisher Ave., Cortland, NY 13045 (607) 753-3095 ext. 247.