Pheasant Stocking Provides Hunting Opportunities This Holiday Season

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

MADISON, Wis. – With a little less than a month left in the statewide pheasant season, hunters looking to spend more time afield this holiday season will find eight properties in central and southern Wisconsin stocked with 1,440 pheasants during the week of Dec. 21. 

Although operational changes related to COVID-19 reduced the number of pheasants released during this year’s holiday hunt, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) pheasant program continues to provide ample opportunities for hunters. Pheasant season in Wisconsin runs until Jan. 3, 2021. 

“We selected properties near population centers to provide the opportunity to the most pheasant hunters possible,” said Alaina Gerrits, DNR Assistant Upland Wildlife Ecologist. “The department hopes this late-season stocking will provide an opportunity to get out and enjoy the outdoors during the holidays.” 

Properties to be stocked before the holiday season include: 

Mud Lake Wildlife Area, Columbia County 

Mazomanie Unit of Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, Dane County Richard Bong State Recreation Area, Kenosha County 

Brooklyn Wildlife Area, Dane & Green Counties 

Avon Bottoms Wildlife Area, Rock County 

Waterloo Wildlife Area, Jefferson County 

Sauk Prairie Recreational Area, Sauk County 

Vernon Wildlife Area, Waukesha County 

Quality pheasant hunting opportunities exist throughout Wisconsin, including wild pheasant hunting where suitable habitat exists and previously stocked public lands. All hunting regulations and bag limits apply through the season’s end. Check out the 2020 combined hunting regulations for more information. 

Hunters are reminded to practice TAB-K while afield: 

T – Treat every firearm as if it is loaded 

A – Always point the muzzle in a safe direction 

B – Be certain of your target and what’s beyond it

K – Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot 

In addition, hunters are encouraged to wear blaze orange while hunting to increase visibility with other hunters. Blaze orange is required during open firearm deer seasons, including the holiday hunt in Columbia, Dane, Jefferson, Rock, Sauk and Waukesha counties from Dec. 24 to Jan. 1, 2021. 

Hunters are reminded to practice social distancing, refrain from congregating in large groups, to travel only within their home communities and to follow all existing recommendations and guidelines from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Visitors are also encouraged to wear masks in situations where social distancing is difficult. 

For more information regarding pheasant hunting in Wisconsin, visit the DNR website. 

Where to Hunt 

Hunters can use the DNR’s Fields and Forest Lands Interactive Gamebird Hunting Tool (FFLIGHT) to locate cover suitable for ruffed grouse and woodcock, managed dove fields and properties stocked with game farm pheasants. FFLIGHT allows hunters to use aerial maps, topography and measuring tools to easily navigate and identify areas of interest and make their trips more productive and enjoyable. To learn more about FFLIGHT, visit the DNR website. 

Hunters should also check out Hunt Wild Wisconsin, the DNR’s mobile hunting application, to explore properties, regulations, document tracks and more. Hunt Wild Wisconsin has many of the same features as FFLIGHT but in a mobile-friendly application. To learn more about Hunt Wild Wisconsin, visit the DNR website.