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IDFG stocked access sites provide golden opportunity for Idaho pheasant hunters

by IDFG Public Information Specialist Connor Liess
| November 2, 2022 11:02 AM

The 2022 fall pheasant season is in full swing as upland hunters take to nearly two dozen Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and other private and federal property sites across the state. The ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus for you bird nerds out there) is among the most colorful game bird species found in Idaho, and WMAs are a popular place to hunt them. Pheasants are often found in lowland fields and brushy roadsides, and sport an uncanny copper-and-gold plumage with a bright red and green head.

Fish and Game will stock over 30,000 pheasants across the 24 permitted areas, including 14 WMAs.

In recent years, Fish and Game has doubled the traditional number of pheasant stocking sites across the Gem State.

So what does this mean for hunters? For residents and nonresidents alike, fall in Idaho is arguably the high point of the hunting season. The trees are vibrant, the air is crisp and pure and many game species are available for hunters to have a truly interactive experience with nature.

Because pheasants often inhabit private agriculture lands, gaining access to these prized birds can be a challenge, so Fish and Game provides its WMAs for an easily accessible place to go pheasant hunting. Fish and Game also partners with private landowners and federal agencies to provide additional access to pheasant hunting and stocks birds at these locations. WMAs and other stocking sites offer hunters a golden opportunity to access pheasant-rich hunting properties up and down the state with no shortage of fall scenery.

Panhandle WMA's include:

Boundary-Smith Creek WMA

Coeur d’Alene River WMA

Farragut WMA

McArthur Lake WMA

Pend Oreille WMA

Snow Peak WMA

Pheasant hunting at WMAs and other stocking areas have special rules hunters must follow:

•Any person 18 years of older must have a valid Upland Game Bird Permit in possession while hunting pheasants on properties where pheasants are released. Each permit allows a daily bag limit of 2 birds and a possession limit of six birds; multiple permits may be purchased. Permits are available at Fish and Game vendors or at regional offices.

•Shooting hours for upland game birds on Upland Game Bird Permit Release Areas are 10 a.m. to one-half hour after sunset, except for those areas in the Clearwater Region where shooting hours are 8 a.m. to one-half hour after sunset.

•All upland game bird hunters are required to wear visible hunter orange (minimum size 36 square inches) above the waist during pheasant season when hunting on WMAs or other locations where pheasants are stocked. Pheasant hunting at WMAs and other stocking locations is very popular in the fall, so hunters shouldn’t expect to be alone when they’re hunting, and can expect crowds during weekends, holidays and other peak periods. It’s a good reminder for hunters to practice patience and hunting etiquette when faced with crowded fields and parking lots.

For additional details, hunters should consult the current upland game seasons and rules brochure available at all license vendors, Fish and Game offices, and online.

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