Pheasant stocking program expands in eastern Idaho
POCATELLO — Portneuf Wildlife Management Area managed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has been a popular site for deer, turkey, and grouse hunting in the fall, but you can now add pheasant hunting to the mix! That’s because Idaho Fish and Game has expanded its pheasant stocking program in the region to include this beautiful 3,100-acre WMA located just south of Inkom.
“Hunters have always enjoyed pursuing deer and upland game birds at Portnuef WMA, and have even encountered pheasants now and then,” says Jennifer Jackson, Regional Communications Manager for Fish and Game’s Southeast Region. “However, now hunters can count on a more consistent and fun pheasant hunting experience between October 25th and the end of pheasant season in November.”
For those hunters who have traditionally enjoyed hunting stocked pheasants at the Sterling WMA near Aberdeen, don’t worry—stocking will continue there. In fact, Idaho Fish and Game will be releasing 300 more birds at Sterling this year compared to last year— that’s over 3200 birds available to hunters at Sterling this fall. Portneuf WMA will receive just over 1500 birds condensed in a shorter time frame which starts after general deer season ends.
Pheasant season runs from October 17 through November 30 in the southeastern and eastern parts of the state; however, Fish and Game won’t start stocking pheasants at the Portneuf WMA until the week of October 25. This delayed stocking effort at this particular WMA is intended to reduce hunter congestion by concentrating pheasant hunters on the WMA after deer season.
For the Portneuf WMA, pheasant stocking efforts will occur throughout the south end of the management area, and maps are located in the parking areas at Robber’s Roost and Quinn Creek. Hunters take note: the Portneuf WMA is frequented by sharp-tailed grouse and is characterized by hilly terrain, so it is important that hunters not only know their target but what’s beyond their target. A bright orange receptacle with survey cards is stationed at the main parking area near Quinn Creek for hunters to submit feedback relevant to their experience at the WMA.
So what else do you need to know about hunting pheasants this fall at WMAs where pheasants are stocked?
- Any person 18 years old or older must have a valid Upland Game Bird Permit ($23.75) in possession while hunting pheasants were pheasants are stocked. When a pheasant is reduced to possession, the hunter must immediately validate the permit by entering the harvest date and location code in non-erasable ink, and remove a notch from the permit for each pheasant taken. Hunters can find locations codes for each Upland Game Bird Permit Release Area on Fish and Game’s upland game bird permit webpage. The location code for Sterling WMA is 05, and the location code for the Portneuf WMA is 14.
- Each Upland Game Bird Permit allows the take of six pheasants, and multiple permits may be purchased.
- The two pheasant daily bag limit, and six pheasant possession limit apply.
- Shooting hours on WMAs where pheasants are stocked are from 10 a.m. to one half hour after sunset, during the pheasant season, with the exception of the Clearwater Region, where shooting time is 8 a.m. and online sign-up is required.
- All upland game bird hunters are required to wear at least 36 square inches of visible hunter orange above the waist during pheasant season in areas where pheasants are stocked. A hunter orange hat meets this requirement. This includes all upland game bird hunters on Upland Game Bird Permit Release Areas, not just those pursuing pheasants. This is not a requirement for upland game hunters who are hunting other sites.
- The permit is not required to hunt any other upland game bird species in Idaho, including in Upland Game Bird Permit Release Areas.
More information regarding the pheasant stocking program in the Southeast Region and other regions of the state, including stocking schedules and maps of bird release areas, can be found at https://idfg.idaho.gov/hunt/pheasant/stocking.