Pheasant Hunting Program

Fall 2019

2019 Release Sites

Pheasant in a field

Thanks to the continued support of pheasant hunters from Maine and elsewhere, MDIFW, in cooperation with members of several dedicated Fish and Game Clubs, will stock about 2000 pheasants at 20 sites in York and Cumberland Counties. This program would not exist without the many generous landowners that agree to provide release sites and share their property with pheasant hunters every fall.

Pheasant Hunting in Maine

Pheasant season runs from September 28 – December 31, 2019. There is a daily bag limit of 2 birds, either sex. Hunters must purchase a pheasant permit in addition to their regular hunting license and are permitted two birds a day, of either sex. The cost of the pheasant permit is $19 is available online or from licensing agents across the state.

The pheasant program is funded through proceeds from the sale of the pheasant permits.

Pheasants are a particularly good game bird to hunt with dogs because although they prefer to run from predators (including hunters), they will, at times, hold tight. When they eventually explode from heavy cover with their unique cackle and a thunderous wing beat they can startle unprepared hunters and dogs. Many a bird has escaped without a shot being fired while the hunter recovers his or her composure. They are also a good bird to start young hunters on because they will eventually hold and can be a larger and more predictable target for new shooters than the fast and erratic flying woodcock or partridge.

Pheasant Stocking in Maine

Pheasants are not native to the United States but have been successfully introduced in several states and have thrived in many environments such as Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, and the Dakotas as well as others. This bird was first stocked in Maine by MDIFW in 1930. Pheasants have not established a breeding population in Maine due to several limiting factors, most notably, predation, occasional harsh winters and a scarcity of standing grain crops for winter forage. It is likely that some stocked birds overwinter at several sites and reproduction in the wild has occasionally been documented.
Hunters can help promote the pheasant hunting in Maine by talking up the program with their friends and encouraging them to buy a permit. Participation and support from the partnering Fish & Game Clubs has been vital since the program’s inception. Special thanks to members of Windham/Gorham Rod and Gun Club, Kezar Falls Rod and Gun Club, South Berwick Rod and Gun Club, York Fish and Game Club and Falmouth Fish and Game Club.

Changes for 2019

There are some changes in the stocking list this year. The Garrison Field House site in York is under different ownership and will likely be dropped from the list. York Fish and Game members are looking for a new site to replace it. Major MacIntire Field will receive birds. Thanks to the hard work of two members of Windham/Gorham Rod and Gun Club, we have secured permission for two new sites. The Partridge Property on Dutton Hill Road in Gray is accessed by foot on a short ROW off the road. There is limited parking. Be considerate of abutting homeowner. The Sanborn Farm is at the intersection of Plummer and Wescott Rd. in Gorham. Big thanks as well to the landowners, the Partridge and Sanborn families!
This year, three stocking events will take place on or about the following days:

  • Friday September 27
  • Sunday October 6
  • Sunday, October 20

See list of stocking sites below.

Landowner permission has been provided to pheasant hunters by those who own these properties. Most sites will receive about 40 birds at each stocking. Those sites in the Berwicks and Wells will be stocked on Fridays throughout the season by members of South Berwick Rod and Gun Club. These sites will receive fewer birds per stocking, but they will be stocked more frequently. Look for the yellow “pheasant release site” signs to identify the site and as part of our efforts to show respect for the landowners, observe the green “no vehicles beyond this point” signs.

Dog trainers are discouraged from training their dogs at the release sites after they are stocked to avoid scattering the birds off the sites.

For more information, contact:

Scott Lindsay
Regional Wildlife Biologist
MDIFW
358 Shaker Rd.
Gray, ME 04039
Phone: 207-657-5745
Email: scott.lindsay@maine.gov

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2019 Release Sites

The following sites are stocked from Cabelas, Scarborough. ETA 9:00 a.m.

The following sites are stocked from MTA Maintenance Garage – York ETA 8:00a.m.

 

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