The 2017 pheasant season is now under way and thousands of birds are being distributed throughout the state. This year marks the final phase in the full implementation of the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife’s new Pheasant Allocation Formula (PAF). The PAF was phased in beginning in 2016.
The PAF, which was put in place to increase hunter safety throughout the state, spreads out the stocked pheasants based on the huntable area of each stocked Wildlife Management Area (WMA). As such, some areas see a decrease in the number of pheasants they receive because they have a relatively smaller amount of huntable area while other WMAs, with more huntable area, will see an overall increase in pheasant numbers.
Proximity of stocked WMAs to stamp buyers’ home zip code is also an important component of the formula. This factor helps balance the formula and takes into consideration how far stamp buyers need to travel to find stocked birds. More information on the formula can be found at: www.njfishandwildlife.com/artpheasallocation16.htm.
Many northern region WMAs have experienced a reduction in bird numbers during this second phase of formula implementation. However, the northern region still receives 41% of the pheasants stocked as part of the Pheasant Stocking Program. This compares to 27% for the central region and 32% for the southern region.
The Division’s goal is to balance the opportunities provided to sportsmen and sportswomen across the state. To accomplish this goal, we must spread our resources (in this case stocked pheasants) across the state for the benefit of all participants. The PAF does this in an objective way and this formula was developed with direct input from stamp buyers across the state.
For hunters considering pheasant hunting at a new WMA or one previously hunted, the Division’s pheasant stocking maps are a great resource for finding stocked birds. These maps can be found at: www.njfishandwildlife.com/pheasmaps.htm.
The pheasant stocking schedule can be viewed at www.njfishandwildlife.com/pdf/2017/pheas_sched17.pdf.
The Division wishes all pheasant hunters a safe and enjoyable time afield!