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Greg Hartman

Anybody buy their PA phez "stamp" yet?

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Hal Standish

Is this really subsidized shooting?  Michigan tried the program back in the 70's and 80's. A financial boondoggle. Permit fees(income) come no where near production and distribution costs of rearing and releasing birds.. So where does the money come from to cover the states (the people) losses?

Is this really a (Government) recreational welfare program? Not to mention the quality of hunting to pen raised birds. Which of course is an individual case for each of us.

 

If it comes back to Michigan and I do not believe it will I would not be player. Though as Governments go there is a new scheme in the works here and I'm sure there will be an additional fee to hunt pheasants...ah! with no release of birds it will be done under the guise of access programs and habitat enhancements...

 

 

 

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gunsrus

Was hunting out of the Maine house last season . I have a NH license also and happened to be hunting grouse and woodcock across the border in a very remote area.  There in front of me were two cock pheasants . I didn't shoot them , I didn't buy the tag . Sure as hell shocked me to see them there . I go North to get away from the Ma ''pheasant hunters'' . I like the solitude .

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Crazy Horse

I haven't as yet gotten my PA hunting license, but will this week some time. Yes, I will buy the $25 Pheasant permit. My hope is that the money from the permit will be totally dedicated to Pheasant raising and stocking. Not sure if there is any guarantee regarding that. Living in Philly there are only a few local Game lands (Nockamixon, Game Farm, Linfield, French Creek) that are stocked and being in a populous area they get hunted heavily. Very few birds survive more than a day or two. There are only 4 stockings and they are supposed to be stocked sometime in the middle of the week. It's obvious when that day comes as the parking lots are full with hunters waiting for the truck.

 

The unfortunate thing about the PGC's stocking schedule is that if you can only hunt on Saturday the vast majority of the birds have already been killed off by hunters and predators long before Saturday arrives.  I've spoken to PGC managers about this problem with viable suggestions and all fell on deaf ears. The last time I hunted with my sons we tramped 2 different game lands all day on a Saturday with a good dog and never scented a bird. At one point the boy asked me what were we doing? Of course I told him we were hunting Pheasants. That's when he said he'd rather be home doing home work. (Of course he hated home work.)

 

The truth is that the PGC would love to be out of the Pheasant stocking business all together. Small Game is  a back seat passenger on a bus in Alabama to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

 

I'm fortunate in that I can also hunt New Jersey. They have an excellent Pheasant and Quail program. A non-resident hunting license is $135. Their Pheasant and Quail permit is $40. They stock Pheasants and Quail 15 times form November to January 1. Their Pheasant and Quail program is funded entirely by the Pheasant and Quail permit. Oh, I forgot to mention, kids hunt free to age 16.  That's some pretty good incentive for youngsters. They tell you where their releasing birds, what day and how many.

 

They raise and release a little over 50,000 Pheasants and Quail are provided by a private breeder. And some mighty good flying Quail are to be had these last couple of years. The number of expended shells in my game bag attest to their strong flight.

 

Being retired I get to hunt most all of those 15 stockings and even a few of the off days. By the end of the season my dog gets to point probably over a hundred birds. I get to shoot at most of them. If I had to depend on Pennsylvania for bird hunting I'd sell the dog and buy a good book to read, something like War and Peace.

 

Am I down on the PGC for their lack of concern for the Small Game hunter. Yes, I am. I do hope that this Pheasant permit will keep and sustain the Pheasant stocking program, but my guess is the PGC's heart is not in it.

 

 

 

 

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Marc Ret
1 hour ago, Hal Standish said:

Is this really subsidized shooting?  Michigan tried the program back in the 70's and 80's. A financial boondoggle. Permit fees(income) come no where near production and distribution costs of rearing and releasing birds.. So where does the money come from to cover the states (the people) losses?

Is this really a (Government) recreational welfare program? Not to mention the quality of hunting to pen raised birds. Which of course is an individual case for each of us.

 

If it comes back to Michigan and I do not believe it will I would not be player. Though as Governments go there is a new scheme in the works here and I'm sure there will be an additional fee to hunt pheasants...ah! with no release of birds it will be done under the guise of access programs and habitat enhancements...

 

 

 

 

Yes. The last figure I saw reported was roughly five million dollars annually for the pheasant program in PA. This year, after several decades of the program being in place, is the first attempt at a dedicated pheasant permit ($25 roughly covers the cost of one pheasant btw) to defray some of the cost. PA does not use any monies from the state's general fund to support our Game Commission and its programs. All funds are generated through license sales, Pittman Robertson funds, timber sales, etc. Other programs, such as much needed habitat projects for native species, are deprived of necessary funding that is diverted into the pheasant program. That's the big concern for many of us. Native and/or wild species seem to take a back seat. On another board, I had a retired Conservation Officer (the one referenced earlier that typically shoots 60-70 pheasants annually) argue with me that PA's stocked pheasants are wild because they were listed in the game code that way! It's an interesting mindset here in PA. 

 

Just to to be clear, I'm happy to see the pheasant program continue. In fact, I think it's an important program to maintain. I, like many others, would just like to see it be self-sustaining. I'm too young to have experienced the wild pheasant hunting we once had here. This program is as close as I'll ever get in PA but my vacation time gets spent a few hundred miles north of home chasing truly wild birds. 

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ryanr

So why are you so concerned about it? I'd glady drive an hour off 95 to hunt wild birds than moan and groan about not finding enough stocked birds 15-20 minutes away. Past glory or not PA has been releasing 200,000 or more pheasants annually. Maine releases in a season about what PA does for one week's worth of birds so again there's no comparison and I sure know what bird I'd be finding any precious time I could to hunt if I were fortunate enough to live in Maine.

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Kurt

I have read all the previous posts. I will not buy the pheasant stamp. I have this question; The stamp has been established and those of you that say you are buying it seem to have some resentment of those that don't? Why? You are going to get to hunt pheasants that others aren't, even though they are contributing to the cost, so why are you annoyed with them. I think you need to do some self analysis as to your skewed position on the subject. 

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floodcity

Yes, I will be buying a pheasant stamp this year. I really enjoy hunting them and found them to behave similar to the pheasants I have encountered in the grasslands of South Dakota when released in appropriate cover. They taste great and I use the feathers to catch the stocked trout I bought a stamp for. 

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Hal Standish
8 hours ago, Marc Ret said:

 

Yes. The last figure I saw reported was roughly five million dollars annually for the pheasant program in PA. This year, after several decades of the program being in place, is the first attempt at a dedicated pheasant permit ($25 roughly covers the cost of one pheasant btw) to defray some of the cost. PA does not use any monies from the state's general fund to support our Game Commission and its programs. All funds are generated through license sales, Pittman Robertson funds, timber sales, etc. Other programs, such as much needed habitat projects for native species, are deprived of necessary funding that is diverted into the pheasant program. That's the big concern for many of us. Native and/or wild species seem to take a back seat. On another board, I had a retired Conservation Officer (the one referenced earlier that typically shoots 60-70 pheasants annually) argue with me that PA's stocked pheasants are wild because they were listed in the game code that way! It's an interesting mindset here in PA. 

 

Just to to be clear, I'm happy to see the pheasant program continue. In fact, I think it's an important program to maintain. I, like many others, would just like to see it be self-sustaining. I'm too young to have experienced the wild pheasant hunting we once had here. This program is as close as I'll ever get in PA but my vacation time gets spent a few hundred miles north of home chasing truly wild birds. 

 

 Social welfare programs usually have many collateral issues that always seem innocent until the pedal hits the metal! an then boom the wheels fall off somewhere else. We here in Michigan have not missed the Put-n-Take Phez program and trust it will not come back.

 

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Urban_Redneck

I'll buy my license and stamp today.

 

If the PGC spread the birds around to more SGLs (especially those that require a long walk), more folks would have a better chance at taking a shot at birds and I believe that would spur interest.  I'll admit I have moments of jealousy of PA's "road hunters"- guys who have time to stand around drinking coffee on the side of the access road everyday waiting for the stocking truck to go by.

 

 

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Brad Eden

I'm just glad I don't have to worry about this dilemma.

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Crazy Horse

Marc Ret noted an interesting aspect of the PGC's funding practices. There is no doubt that money injected into the Pheasant program had denied funding for other projects such as habitat improvement for Grouse, Woodcock and Rabbits. But I have to ask, when the PGC was in "clover" and had adequate monies, why was there not more habitat work done for Small Game? Where did all the Marcellus Shale Gas money go?

 

The answer to some of my questions is that Deer are king in Pennsylvania. A 30+ year Grouse study (Bill Palmer, PA biologist) proved that with practices developed by the study showed that PA could rival the New England and North Central states for Grouse. The study was conducted on some 2000+ acres off limits to hunters for over 30 years. Even after these findings were proven the Commission did not employ them on any other Game Lands to any significant degree. THIRTY YEARS!!!!! and no significant improvement in Small Game habitat. Think about that for a moment. During that span of time the PGC had to have adequate monies for Small Game habitat improvement.

 

To my thinking this proves the Commission has very little interest in Small Game and Pheasants are an anchor on the agencies neck. Pennsylvania's major Grouse area is in the Northern Tier. For hunters in the Southern counties (Pheasant country) that means a 3, 4 or 5 hour drive to decent Grouse country. Should the Pheasant program be eliminated my guess is that the PGC would lose a significant number of hunters which would further hurt their revenue, derived solely from license sales. That could really hurt the agency.

 

As Greg Hartman noted, hunters are willing to plunk down $40K and more for a pickup truck the the vast majority don't really need, but balk at a measly $25 bucks for a Pheasant permit. I might also add how many hunters lay out $25 bucks for a case of quality beer several times a year, yet never give it another thought?

 

There is little doubt that the PGC needs a license increase.They would do well to raise the Pheasant permit to at least $40 and maybe even $50 (and let kids up to 16 years hunt FREE) and insure the monies be strictly dedicated to Pheasants. Then maybe they could devote some time and money to improving Grouse and Woodcock habitat.

 

I might add that antlerless licenses (Doe tags) have been a big, big boost to PGC revenues, so once again Deer are King in PA. Maybe they should enact a Grouse and Woodcock Stamp/Permit and use that money for improve habitat. Now there's an idea!!!

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ryanr
11 hours ago, Kurt said:

I have read all the previous posts. I will not buy the pheasant stamp. I have this question; The stamp has been established and those of you that say you are buying it seem to have some resentment of those that don't? Why? You are going to get to hunt pheasants that others aren't, even though they are contributing to the cost, so why are you annoyed with them. I think you need to do some self analysis as to your skewed position on the subject. 

I don't think I noticed where anyone showed resentment for those that don't purchase a stamp? Now perhaps you're confusing poking holes in a few complainer's arguments that the pheasant stamp is too expensive or that the PGC is greedy and it should be free for resentment that they're not going to buy a stamp, which I think ultimately most of them will anyway (just like most of the bellyachers over a trout stamp did before that.)

 

Believe me, I certainly don't care one or the other whether they buy a pheasant stamp or not. These few complainers tend to be the folks our ranks can do without IMO. They want to be able to getbout if their vehicle take a short walk in the field and walk out with their 2 pheasants and complain loudly if anything but that scenario happens. For instance, the PGC sticks each week on either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday (usually one of the first two days if I recall correctly) and some will havevyou believe that there's nary a bird left by Saturday morning. Well I work all week but happen to live across the street from a very heavily hunted state park/ PGC wildlife management area that is very popular with Lehigh Valley, Philly area & even NJ hunters. If I hunt this place at all it's on Saturday and I usually don't have much trouble finding multiple birds. Sure it gets a bit harder by December but October and November there are certainly enough birds around if you acrually hunt a bit more for them. The caveat is I have a good dog and I'm more than willing, in fact I prefer to hunt the areas furthest away from the parking lots.

 

I'd like to take some of these guys with me grouse hunting all day but I'm afraid they'd be complaining within an hour or so! Lol 

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Don Steese

I wouldn't blame anyone for not buying a permit. If it's not worth it  to you don't buy one; no harm no foul! (fowl??)  Don't know which is correct...word nazis please advise!!

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grouse28

Where did all the Marcellus Shale Gas money go?

Sadly it went to easing the debt  within the Game Commission. They have been in or close to operating in the red for some years.

If it had not been for the gas money the GC would really be hurting. Also some of the gas and mineral rights on the game lands have been retained by previous owners from 80 years ago. The GC is operating on a thin line. There are many WCO's  and land managers who are just putting in time until retirement, case in point is Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area. Was a goose habitat project that went to he$$. Former manager retired and now there is some new blood in there turning things around. Regardless of their work ethic or bad decisions they get their retirement benefits, courtesy of hunting license fees.

I hunt some game lands where parts are rented out to local farmers. Farming practices are done to increase yield as it were a private farm. Clean corn field with no weeds, etc.

Cut the farmers a break on fees and allow habitat to be created. The fields from the 60's and prior were outstanding pheasant habitat.

The GC has poured big bucks into trying to create ideal pheasant habitat in 3 or so areas of the state resulting in a dismal failure. Yes I know there are fans of the project, "we flushed so many birds in the flushing surveys", but the numbers continue to go down. Pheasants are not coming back to PA and it is shame we need to stock them.

While we are focused on the pheasant problem, the GC is watching "Rome burn", that is the grouse population decline.

Oh and wonders of wonders the latest fiasco to come out of the GC is an attempt to re-establish quail. Bang head and repeat!

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