Annual Report 2007-2008 - 10

through the commonwealth in the fall of 2007. A statewide, long-range woodcock plan was under preparation and near completion as the year ended. The draft plan provides a comprehensive and current summary of woodcock taxonomy, biology, population trends, habitat relationships and trends, hunter harvest, economic significance, partnerships and population restoration approaches. The plan has a goal of returning woodcock populations to densities that 2007-08 would provide improved hunting and viewing opportunities. PGC staff completed a long-anticipated draft statewide ring-necked pheasant management plan, and made it available in May for public review and comment. The pheasant management plan provides a comprehensive and up-to-date summary of pheasant taxonomy, biology, population trends, habitat relationships and trends, the pheasant propagation program and its role, hunter harvest, economic significance, partnerships and population restoration approaches in Pennsylvania. The management plan focuses on providing better pheasant hunting and outlines multiple objectives and more than 50 strategies to achieve six goals during the 10-year plan. Wild pheasant restoration projects are underway in Washington County (Pike Run Watershed), and in an area including portions of Montour, Northumberland and Columbia counties. In 2008, 200 wild trapped pheasants (27 males, 173 females) from South Dakota were released in Washington County, the final year of wild pheasant releases for this area. Since 2005, 591 wild trapped pheasants from South Dakota have been released. Crowing counts, landowner brood surveys and flushing surveys will be used to monitor pheasant populations over the next three years. In 2008, 366 pheasants (90 males, 275 females) trapped in Montana were released in the Montour, Northumberland and Columbia counties area. In 2007, 329 trapped pheasants from South Dakota and Montana (sex ratio of 1 male/3 females) were released. Pheasants were monitored using radio telemetry, crowing counts, brood surveys and flushing surveys. In 2007, 55 hens, and in 2008, 67 hens, were radio-collared prior to release. An additional 300 birds will be trapped and released in 2009. Population monitoring will continue for three years post trap and transfer. When at full production, the Game Commission operates four game farms and raises and distributes about 230,000 ring-necked pheasants annually. However, due to fiscal cutbacks, annual production goals were cut to approximately 100,000 birds in FY 200506, which continued through FY 2007-08. Given the diminished number of birds, we focused stocking on State Game Lands and cooperator lands managed by the Commission where the best habitat conditions exist to provide public pheasant hunting. According to Game Take Survey responses, 90,548 hunters enjoyed pheasant hunting during the 2007-08 seasons and reHal Korber ported harvesting 168,094 pheasants. Pheasant hunters also reported more than 405,715 hunter-days of recreation during the season. Harvest per hunter day increased for the first time in four years. Although pheasant hunting in Pennsylvania remains popular, participation has continued to decline in recent years. Commission staff distributed 126,536 pheasants during FY 2007-08. GAME COMMISSION staff distributed 126,536 Shipments for the youth pheasant hunt pheasants during FY 2007-08. 10 GAME NEWS

Annual Report 2007-2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Annual Report 2007-2008

Annual Report 2007-2008 - 1
Annual Report 2007-2008 - 2
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