ELLICOTTVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — As part of the pheasant raise and release program, 400 day-old birds will be foffered, then released, after arriving at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Cattaraugus County on Tuesday.
The young pheasants will eventually be released on public hunting lands. Wild populations of the the bird have “reached all-time lows,” according to the Cooperative Extension, leading to the introduction of new ones on hunting lands.
The Cooperative Extension calls pheasant hunting “one of the most popular small game hunting activities in New York.” The DEC says around 23,000 hunters harvest more than 50,000 of the birds in the state each year.
In addition to this, the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said pheasant hunters in New York spent around $600 each on trip and equipment-related expenses. The Cooperative Extension said this added millions of dollars to the state’s economy.