Pennsylvania’s various fish and game associations that would get pheasant chicks and eggs for propagation from the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), will no longer receive them.
The PGC announced that two long running programs, one that provided Pheasant Hen Chick Program, the other, Surplus Egg Program that provided day-old pheasant chicks and pheasant eggs free to sportsman’s organizations with approved propagation facilities, will cease because of a budget crunch.
As per the PGC’s press release, these programs augmented the pheasant releases the PGC conducts yearly. The birds that went to these sportsman’s organizations were released on lands open to public hunting.
This move coincides with the PGC’s closure of two pheasant farms that will now rely on the remaining two farms for all productions. In closing the farms, the agency released birds that would have been kept as breeding stock.
Rather than raising chicks from the eggs laid by these birds, the PGC will purchase day-old chicks from a privately owned breeder and raise those birds for release.
The PGC claims that purchasing chicks is more cost effective and as such the agency expects to save $1.5 million in the coming year.
They go on to say that organizations and individuals who have maintained their propagation facilities and who planned on taking part in the program in 2017, may still be able to obtain pheasant eggs from private propagators.
“Cost-cutting measures, like the changes we’re implementing on the pheasant propagation program, are necessary to balance the agency’s budget until a license-fee increase finally is approved,” said Matthew Hough, PGC’s executive director. Hough goes on to say, “But as we’re forced to make bigger and more significant cuts at the program level, there’s no avoiding the impact to services. Unfortunately, more cuts will be needed to balance the budget for the coming fiscal year, and Pennsylvania’s citizens and wildlife resources have begun to feel the impact.”
In an attempt to subsidize and fund the pheasant program, the Board of Game Commissioners are discussing creating a $25 permit that would be required for all adult hunters who hunt pheasants. This would be similar to the Duck Stamp and Migratory Bird permit fee’s that are required.
LANCASTER ARCHERY CLASSIC
If you’re an avid 3D and target archer and would like to see the best of the best in archery competition, the Lancaster Archery Supply Classic takes place Jan. 27-29 at Spooky Nook Sports, 75 Champ Blvd., Manheim, PA.
Over 1,000 archers from 13 countries around the world, will compete in this unique tournament that pays out over $150,000 in cash and prizes from Lancaster Archery. “It’s the largest indoor archery tournament on the East Coast, and the reason it draws many of the sport’s biggest stars like Mike Schloesser of the Netherlands, Stephen Hansen of Denmark and Reo Wilde of the USA, the top three archers in Men’s Compound,” said P.J. Reilly, from Lancaster Archery.
Also registered to compete are 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Brady Ellison of USA, top-ten World Archery Women’s Compound archers Linda-Ochoa-Anderson of Mexico and Toja Ellison of Slovenia as well as elite well-known archers Jesse Broadwater, Levi Morgan and Mackenzie Brown.
According to Reilly, the format is as follows: On Friday, Jan. 27, each competitor will shoot a qualification round of 60 arrows shot at targets 18 meters away. A perfect score would be 660, since the inner-most bull’s eye ring (about the size of a penny) scores 11 points. After ranking archers’ Friday qualification scores, the field in each of the 15 competition divisions will be whittled down to top finishers, who will shoot head-to-head elimination rounds in a bracket style competition on Saturday morning.
Finalists in each division will emerge from those brackets to compete in 12-arrow shoot-up style elimination rounds. Some divisions will compete in their shoot-ups Saturday afternoon while the remaining divisions – including Men’s Open Pro – will finish Sunday.
Besides the competition, more than 40 archery vendors will have booths showcasing their latest archery equipment.
Classic hours are 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Friday through Saturday and 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday. Spectators are welcomed to attend the competition free, however Spooky Nook charges for parking. For more information call Reilly at 717-575-3039.
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Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.