Pen-raised birds can extend your season
If you’re hoping to get out after a few more pheasants this year, you better do it quick. The wild bird season’s been closed for a while, but you can still take a shot at pen-raised pheasants, at least until the end of the month.
The hunting season for upland birds in Wyoming has been closed since the end of December. But if you’re a die-hard uplander, you can still hunt. There are several bird farms in Wyoming that offer pheasant, quail, and chukar hunts, and since the birds were raised by a private outfit, you can plunk down your money and hunt ‘em. If you want to do that, though, you’ll have to do it pretty soon. Even the pen-raised bird season doesn’t last forever. It ends March 31.
There are still ways to hunt after the pen-raised bird season closes, but not for most of us. The exceptions are hunt tests and field trials for dogs, and the organizers of those events can apply for permits to release and shoot upland game birds. But for the most part, if you’re hoping to get a few more birds this year, you need to get it done soon.
Hunting pen-raised birds can be somewhat pricey, but it’s worth it to a lot of hunters. If you have a young dog, you can’t beat the training a farm hunt can provide. The same’s true for young hunters. You know there are birds out there, and in some cases, you might know a general vicinity where they’ll probably be holding.
Then again, a farm hunt can also be more unpredictable. Some of the farms are pretty big, and there’s no telling where they’ll turn the birds loose, let alone where they’ll land when they stop flying. Hunts on those farms are more like wild hunts, except that your chances of flushing a bird are generally a lot better.
Get the dog out a few more times and give him some more practice before the summer. Get the kids into the field and make sure they’re hooked on bird hunting. Or just go out there yourself and put a few more pheasants in the freezer. Just do it before March 31.