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Thousands Of Game Birds Being Released In Utah

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wildlife.utah.gov
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This week, personnel from the Division of Wildlife Resources are working with volunteers to release more than 10,000 pheasants across Utah. This effort will supply birds for the 2017 pheasant hunt.

Clint Brunson, a wildlife recreation program specialist said pheasant populations used to be higher, with just a few natural predators like skunks and coyotes. Now there are more fox, raccoons and predatory birds bringing pheasant populations down.

“In some areas the fields that people used to hunt are all now houses,” Brunson said. “So there’s not a place for the kind of reproduction necessary for the hunting pressure that still occurs.”

Pheasants are raised in Box Elder County and Nephi according to Brunson. 10,000 of the birds are being released throughout the state of Utah for the hunt that starts this Saturday.

“If you release them at night, they don’t fly very far,” Brunson said. “Meaning they probably won’t travel off the property that we’re releasing them on. So they’re there for the hunters in the morning as well.”

With easier access to the pheasants, Brunson said this is also an opportunity for kids and beginner hunters to develop their skills. The DWR has had positive feedback from the community as it gives people the chance to spend quality time outdoors.