Bob Harris - OUTDOORS and FREE - September 29, 2011
- PHEASANT SEASON IS HERE -
On Saturday, October 1, 2011, New Hampshire’s pheasant season begins and ends on December 31. As usual, 13,500 birds will be stocked in 75 stocking sites in 50 towns in all 10 counties of the state during the three-month season. That will be an average of 160 birds per stocking site. There is a personal daily limit of two birds with a season limit of 10. In addition to a resident and/or a non-resident hunting license, a $26 pheasant license is also required.
New Hampshire Fish and Game asks hunters to refrain from training their dogs at pheasant release sites for three days prior to October 1. Hunting sites in the towns of Candia and Seabrook, that were closed in 2010, will be open for hunting this fall. The southern portion of the Mascoma River Wildlife Management Area, in Canaan, will not be accessible for pheasant hunters this year via the culvert and road that is typically used to cross the Mascoma River. Pheasant will continue to be stocked on the Mascoma WMA in the extensive old-field habitat on the north side of the river.
The ring-necked pheasant is one of the most colorful game birds. It can run like the wind and disappear instantly into hedgerows. Testing the skills of many hunting dogs with its hide-and-seek behavior. It only takes to the air as a last resort.
Pheasant hunting has a long history in New Hampshire. The first pheasants where stocked here over 100 years ago. Today, the time-honored tradition of pheasant hunting is possible in the state only because private landowners continue to allow hunters access to their land. Hunters can strengthen this important relationship with landowners by closing gates, controlling their dogs and parking in designated areas to avoid blocking driveways and other entrances. Also, it is vitally important not to leave any trash behind, such as water bottles, sandwich wraps, candy wrappers, etc. Carry a plastic bag in your pocket and use it to lug out your leftovers or any trash you might find. And dispose of it properly at home. And, please take the time to be courteous and thank these landowners for their generosity.
Hunting safety is the big issue here. Fish and Game urges all pheasant hunters to follow a few simple guidelines to hunt safely and enjoy their time hunting pheasant. Pete Davison, Fish and Game’s Hunter Education Coordinator says, “Pheasant hunting is a lot of fun. It’s a great time to be out there, but we want people to do it safely.”
Incident numbers from the year 2000 underscores this point. That year, there were four hunting related shooting injuries in the state involving all kinds of hunting. Luckily, these were not fatal, but were still very serious. Three of those four involved pheasant hunters. In one case, a hunter lost an eye and in the other and in the other, a hunter was shot in the face. Don’t be a pheasant hunting statistic. Follow these safety tips:
1. Wear Hunter Orange on your head, back and chest.
2. Control your firearm muzzle at all times.
3. Always wear safety glasses.
4. Know where your hunting partners are in relation to you at all times.
5. Shoot only within your safety zone of fire.
6. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
7. Always keep your dog under control and have your dog wear a Hunter Orange dog vest and a bell.
With that said, may your pheasant hunting season be a safe and successful one.
Bob Harris can be reached via e-mail at: email@example.com