Still plenty of time to hunt pheasants
Plenty of days are still available to hunt pheasants in Utah. And thousands of birds are still being released.
Utah’s pheasant hunt runs until Dec. 6 on state and federal land across Utah. And private land enrolled in the state’s Walk-In Access program will also remain open to pheasant hunting until Dec. 6.
To ensure plenty of birds are available to hunt, hundreds of pheasants will be released on Thursdays or Fridays, just in time for hunters heading out for the weekend.
The one exception is the week of Thanksgiving. That week, birds will be released early in the week so plenty of pheasants will be available to pursue over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Another exception is the Willard Bay Upland Game Area (UGA), located on the south side of Willard Bay Reservoir in northern Utah.
Construction work is still underway on the dike that surrounds the reservoir. To keep construction workers and others safe, pheasants will not be released on the main part of the UGA. Instead, a few pheasants will be released only in the part of the UGA that’s near the South Marina at Willard Bay State Park.
You can see where the birds will be released, and how to get to those areas, by looking at the interactive map at https://tinyurl.com/qdjgad8.
Division of Wildlife Resources biologists and members of two sportsman’s organizations—Sportsmen for Fish (SFW) and The National Wild Turkey Federation—will release the birds on state wildlife management areas, state waterfowl management areas and Walk-In Access areas that have habitat for pheasants. More information about Utah’s Walk-in Access areas is available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/walkinaccess.
Jason Robinson, upland game coordinator for the DWR, says releasing thousands of birds should keep hunting good right up to the end of the hunt. “If you haven’t made it out yet,” he says, “plan on getting out before the season ends. Plenty of pheasants will be available.”
Also, if you or your child haven’t signed up for Utah’s Upland Game Slam, consider signing up. Bagging a limit of pheasants will complete the “Long Tail Limit” slam.
You can learn more about Utah’s Upland Game Slam at www.wildlife.utah.gov/uplandslam.
Birds released at 57 sites
On 14 of the 57 areas where pheasants will be released—13 waterfowl management areas and the Utah Lake Wetland Preserve—you must use nontoxic shot (for example, steel shot) when hunting. Lead shot may not be used.
If you hunt any of the areas where pheasants are released, Robinson encourages you to wear plenty of hunter orange. “Wearing hunter orange is extremely important,” he says. “You want to make sure other hunters can see you.”
By the time the season ends on Dec. 6, more than 13,000 rooster pheasants—10,000 bought by the DWR and more than 3,400 bought by SFW—will have been released in Utah.
If you have questions about hunting pheasants in Utah, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR’s Salt Lake City office at 801-538-4700.
Information is also available in the 2015 – 2016 Utah Upland Game and Turkey Guidebook. The free guidebook is available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks.