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PGC to stock nearly 4,000 pheasants in habitats for 2019

In 2019, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will stock almost 4,000 pheasants in Warren County.

The last two stockings have yet to take place.

Like trout stocked in local waterways, those pheasants are stocked to be taken by sportsmen.

“Pheasants are stocked for hunters as a ‘put and take’ program,” Pennsylvania Game Commission Land Manager George Miller said. Those that survive the hunting season are viable and can reproduce.

The timing and locations are not secret. The Game Commission publishes the locations to be stocked and an estimation of when they will be stocked.

“The region tables outline the number of birds to be stocked in each county, the properties slated to be stocked and a two- to four-day window in which stockings will take place within the counties,” according to information from the PGC website. “This stocking information is offered to all hunters to take some of the guesswork out of deciding when to go hunting and insurance that hunters will have improved opportunities.”

It’s not one-and-done.

“Pheasants are stocked in Warren County a total of seven times — youth season (120 birds), preseason (720), four in-season (2,640), one late season (500),” Miller said. The final ‘in-season’ stocking is scheduled for this week. The late season stocking is set to arrive Dec. 19 or 20.

The locations include State Game Lands and “large cooperator properties” with appropriate habitat — the Allegheny National Forest and Hatch Run Conservation Demonstration Area are listed for 2019.

Miller addressed a question about the appropriateness of the locations.

There are certain places where it is appropriate to stock pheasants.

“Grasses, brush, hedgerows” are suitable pheasant habitat, Miller said. Those are the places hunters looking for pheasants go.

Those are the kinds of places where pheasants are stocked.

Some other species live in those same places. Some of those species are inconvenient — even dangerous — for hunters and the dogs often used in pheasant hunting.

Ticks share habitat preferences with pheasants.

“Ticks can be found anywhere that grasses, brush, hedgerows, forests, lawns, etc. exist,” Miller said.

They live in the same places. If the Game Commission is going to continue to stock pheasants, it’s going to be in habitat that is appropriate for ticks.

Anyone walking in grasses, brush, hedgerows, forests, lawns, and similar areas, whether they are hunting pheasants or not, should be aware that they, and any animals they take with them, could encounter ticks.

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