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Pheasant Stocking


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How have the stockings been around the state- I have to say: today is the first time I truly felt DEP lied about stocking numbers. Small WMA I hunted claimed 30 birds. At sunrise, there were 6 hunters and 4 dogs. I can speak to the talent of two of the dogs, other two looked solid and seasoned. there are only 4 fields to hunt and they are small. in 1.5 hours, only 3 birds shot. Seems crazy. Not to mention- with the soft ground, you would assume to see tire tracks from the big trucks....

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Me and my buddies thought the stocking was great this morning - but we are in the south where the state reallocation has helped us. The birds were spread out over the entire field (I didn't get the sense they were "just dumped" in one spot - we flushed them from the beginning to the end of the field and everywhere in between). And we saw/flushed a good amount of birds. Granted, in this one field there was a large number of hunters -- there were 3 groups of hunters (my group and 2 other groups - so much for me thinking the bad weather would keep people home :)) and about 6 dogs. And most of the dogs were good. I believe everyone limited out within 30 to 40 minutes (at least my group did - I know one other guy was limited out). I was actually disappointed it ended as quickly as it did. A few birds were missed and flew into the woods, but most that were flushed were harvested.

We did find 2 hens in the woods that were obviously killed overnight (they were cold; one had its head missing, the other its wings ripped off). Collateral damage from the predators.

Overall, we were pleased. Except for one guy's dog bit my buddy's dog during a retrieve - not cool.

I do plan on going out some more this year.

BTW: we went out Monday afternoon - and STILL managed to find 4 birds (of course, having a dog helps - birds aren't in the fields - gotta hunt the surrounding woods). Think  about that though. Birds were stocked on opening day on Saturday - they were hunted out the wazoo all day with the opening day crowds, then they survived all day Sunday (no humans were hunting, but you know the predators were), and then they were pressured by whatever hunters went through Monday morning  - and we still found 4. This is why I have been saying, don't worry about going out in afternoons of stocking days, or going out on non-stocking days - birds will be there. I can't believe 4 birds were still around 2 days after **opening day**.


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I tend to agree with most when they say they feel that most birds are usually dumped in the parking lots. Huge pet peeve because it is the same thing every year. They are dumped in the parking lot, first people there shot them all outta the trees or on the ground and then no more birds. Sometimes it feels like they put out 1 box instead of 3,4,5 boxes like they should.

But this year has been different so far that I have seen. Opening Day we saw plenty of birds. Connected on a few, but unfortunately other hunters thought they shot them first or their dogs grabbed the birds before my dog did and retrieved them back to whoever Didn't shoot, but whatever its public land and I'm not about to argue over a 15$ bird. 

This morning we got out there and basically had the whole place to ourselves besides 2 older gentleman. We made our 3 man limit in about and hour and half. Would have been quicker if we had started on the other side of the field. They were plenty of birds in the fields, a little close to the parking areas, but they were out there. Felt the state didn't make as much of an effort to get the birds as spread out as they did on opening day, but I can't complain because the birds were there and they were in numbers. Plus these rooster they are stocking are some nice hefty birds!

So, after all that I will say I am pleased with this year has opened up. I just really hope it continues to be a great year and doesn't turn into parking lot dumps. I do have a great dog, so no matter what time it is we can usually find a bird or to. Just have to know where to look, but I have to admit it is a great time with a group of guys the morning of a stocking and your bird dog has a solid 3 man limit worth of points. Great to see!!

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26 minutes ago, Rutting Buck said:

I went to whittingham today with my puppy, it is her first year and only saw 2 birds and a rabbit.  They were supposed to have stocked 150 birds, but I don't know where????

I heard the same thing about Whittingham from my buddy who went there this morning. Said he didn't hear any shots and saw 2 birds

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7 hours ago, TouchofGrey said:

We were at Black River yesterday Ironia  parking lot. Saw 2 groups of guys with dogs, they each had 1 bird. We saw a hen in the safety zone. Not too many shots in area but we expected it. Going to try and make it Thursday early.

I be there as well I hunt the first parking lot after dinner I get there a little late do to work . May be we will see each other. 

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