|Pheasant season opens Sat.|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
Ring-necked pheasant and northern bobwhite quail season begins Saturday, Nov. 13. Phillips County Pheasants Forever will host their annual banquet and auction Saturday, Nov. 13 at Phillips County Event Center. The event will begin at 5 p.m. with a social hour, and dinner will be served at 6 p.m.
This year the breeding pheasant population indices have again increased over last year. Region-wide numbers topped last year’s population by 27 percent and again have a pheasant population similar to that of 1961. This year the overall average population is the fifth highest since crow counts began in 1955.
There will be plenty of places to hunt this year with the Walk-In Access Program.
This year there are 21,056 leased acres in Phillips County and 9,915 leased acres in Sedgwick County. Of these leased acres, the Phillips County Pheasants Forever Chapter paid for 3,723 acres in Phillips County (mainly pivot corners) and 2,388 acres of CRP, wheat and corn stubble in Sedgwick County.
Although most of the corn will be out of the field this year prior to the opening day, some farmers will be finishing up and will still have their trucks and equipment on the road with their harvested crops.
Hunters need to be respectful of them by not blocking the county roads and always parking as close to the edge of the road as possible. Also, farmers don’t appreciate hunters that stand on the end of their field and wait for the combine to push the pheasants out of the corn.
This is considered an unlawful use of a motor vehicle to hunt wildlife. Not only is this unlawful, it also creates some ethical concerns. It should be obvious that hunters can’t legally ride on a combine to hunt.
New for this year: In order to hunt a Walk-In Access property, a hunter will only need a valid 2010 small game hunting license. The walk-in program was originally created by CDOW director Tom Remington when he was an avian researcher in 2000.
Although charging a fee wasn’t in the original program, it needed to be self-funded and pay for itself, so the purchase of a permit was required for any hunter age 19-64.
This year, Remington felt it was time to remove the fee requirement and open it to all small game hunters as it is in other states that have a similar program. This will assist the CDOW’s mission of providing more places for recruitment of young hunters and the retention of others.
It’s very important that hunters read the first two pages of the access book, which is available at local license agents, CDOW offices or at www.wildlife.state.co.us.
In order to maintain good landowner/hunter relations, don’t hunt on leased fields depicted in the atlas unless there are also Walk-In Access Program signs posted on the boundaries.
The ring-necked pheasant daily bag limit is three roosters, with a possession limit of nine. The bobwhite quail daily bag limit is eight with a possession limit of 24. Chukar partridge daily bag limit is four with a possession limit of 12 birds.
In eastern Colorado, the pheasant season will end Jan. 31, 2011, bobwhite quail season will end Jan. 2, 2011, and chukar season will end Nov. 28.
Wildlife thieves affect hunting and success. Sportsmen should always report any wildlife violation to Jack Wieland by calling 854-3512, cell phone 466-0505, Phillips County Sheriff’s Office at 854-3644 or the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office at 474-3355. They will contact a wildlife officer in the field.