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Utah 2018 General Pheasant Hunting Opens Nov 3
Submitted by: Backcountry Press Outdoor News
Posted on: 10/29/18
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are that of the authors and not necessarily that of TBC Press
Jason Robinson, upland game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, provides the following tips to help you find pheasants and take a bird this fall. He also encourages you to join Utah's Upland Game Slam.
How to find birds
If you decide to hunt on private agricultural lands, please remember that you must have written permission from the landowner before hunting on his or her land. And don't forget about public hunting areas in Utah; pheasants will be released on 61 of these areas before every weekend of the hunt. Click here to learn which areas will receive pheasants.
The Utah Lake Wetland Preserve in Utah County is also a good place to hunt.
No matter where you're hunting in Utah, Robinson describes what perfect pheasant habitat looks like:
- The center of the area will have a field of wheat or corn that provides the birds with food. The wheat or corn field will be surrounded by stiff, stemmed grass that provides pheasants with good nesting cover.
- Outside the stemmed grass, you'll find a strip of sparse grass with lots of forbs mixed in. (Forbs are any herb that is not grass or grass like. Forbs are an important food source for pheasant chicks.)
- On the other side of the sparse grass, you'll find thick, woody cover, or a wetland with cattails. This cover protects pheasants during the winter.
"The type of habitat I've described provides pheasants with everything they need to eat, hide, breed and raise young," Robinson says. "Even if an area doesn't have all of these features, it can still hold birds. But the more an area matches this description, the better chance you'll have of finding birds."
Pheasants are excellent at hiding. Hunting with a trained bird dog can often help you find them. "If a pheasant has cover to hide in," Robinson says, "you can be standing only a foot or two from a bird and not know it's there. A good bird dog can make a huge difference in finding hidden birds."
Upland Game Slam
If you'd like to add some fun to your hunt, consider participating in Utah's Upland Game Slam. One of the slams — the Long-tail Limit Slam — will reward you for taking a two pheasant limit in a single day. You can learn more about the Upland Game Slam online. If you have questions about hunting pheasants in Utah, visit the DWR's pheasant hunting web page. You can also call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at 801-538-4700.
Stock Image courtesy of UT Fish & game
Utah's 2018 general pheasant hunt runs Nov. 3–Dec. 2 on both private and public land. If you head afield for pheasants this fall, you'll likely find fewer wild birds.
The number of pheasants released by the Division of Wildlife Resources hasn't taken a dip, though: more than 10,000 birds will be released. The 61 pheasant-release sites include a new site near Heber City and six new sites near Utah Lake.
The marshes and other areas around Utah Lake provide great habitat for pheasants. And they also draw lots of hunters. To try to spread hunters out, and give everyone a better chance to take a bird, Division of Wildlife Resources biologists will release pheasants at six new sites around the lake this fall.
For the first time ever, they'll also release pheasants on the Wallsburg Wildlife Management Area near Heber City. Adding the WMA to the list of release sites will give hunters in Wasatch County a close-to-home place to hunt pheasants.