Government Cutting Funds For Pheasants

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According to a recent press release from Pheasants Are Forever, the Alberta government has decided it will no longer support the release of pheasants in Alberta, stating the $300,000 it costs to release these birds into huntable release sites, as well as river bottoms, coulees and private lands, is too much.

Pheasants were first introduced in Alberta in 1906, and the province held its first open hunting season for the birds in 1932.

In 1945, a provincial government hatchery was set up in Brooks, to raise and distribute these birds in cereal crop regions of the province.

In 1978, as both the hatchery production and the town grew, the hatchery was moved to its present site, about 10 kilometres east of Brooks. And in 1999, the facility was renamed the Canadian Pheasant Company. With over 80 acres of irrigated flight pens and a state-of-the-art hatchery and rearing barns, the Canadian Pheasant Company can produce over 200,000 top-quality pheasants a year.

If the government can no longer support the release of pheasants, this would be a serious blow to pheasant-hunting enthusiasts in Alberta. Pheasants Are Forever is determined to make sure this traditional hunting experience can be continued.

Pheasants Are Forever is currently circulating a petition around the province, collecting signatures from other like-minded individuals that want to see this hunting experience preserved. To get a copy of the petition, please e-mail dwwood@xplornet.com.

A study, paid for by the Upland Birds of Alberta and conducted by Serecon Management Consulting Inc. firm from Edmonton, determined that pheasant hunters contribute $10 million a year to the Alberta economy. The $300,000 cost to continue releasing these birds should not be an issue, according to Pheasants Are Forever.

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