Hens During State Season

Historically, we have purchased pheasants from our breeders in a mix of 60% roosters and 40% hens.  We take delivery of the birds throughout the hunting season, receiving all of our roosters first, and once those are delivered, we move on to only hens.  This change from roosters to hens usually occurs in late January or early February.

For many years, we have discussed the idea of releasing only hens during State Season. Our thinking is a follows:

During State Season, only roosters and NOT hens are allowed to be shot on both private and public lands – while both roosters and hens CAN be shot on Licensed Gamebird Clubs.

This means the roosters that we release at the Club, and fly off the Island to neighboring properties, can be shot by hunters on those neighboring lands.  If those birds were hens, they would NOT be allowed to be shot if they flew off the Island.

Once State Season was over, many of those hens would migrate back to the Island, attracted by the roosters and other birds at the Club.

If we released hens during the State Season, we would be able to release roosters several weeks longer into the Club’s season.  Last season, we estimate that we would have been able to release roosters for 4 weeks longer than otherwise.

Hens tend to get “eggy” and loose their scent toward the end of the Club season, because it is closer to Springtime when they begin to nest.  This does not happen during November/December and the hens should fly better during this time period.

When the idea of releasing hens during State Season was originally proposed over a dozen years ago, we gave it a try.  From a bird perspective is worked well.  From a customer relations standpoint is was a mixed reaction at best, with a number of members being quite upset at the surprise of encountering hens in November/December.  That was a mistake on our part – we should have anticipated some people’s reactions and given more advance notice to our members about this change.

We are going to implement this change for 2018-2019 Season (November 11 – December 24, 2018) with lots of notice having been provided in advance.

You are welcome to share your thoughts and comments with the Club Manager, Danielle Earl.  We are very interested in your feedback.

Thank you!