The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wishes hunters luck and safety during the upcoming 2021 pheasant hunting season. The season opens statewide at 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 16 and ends on January 9, 2022 .
Several other seasons also open on October 16, including Bobwhite quail and Hungarian partridge statewide, and ruffed grouse in Zone B. Like pheasant, the bobwhite quail and Hungarian partridge seasons are open at 9 a.m. on the first day of the season. The ruffed grouse season opens with the start of legal shooting hours.
“Pheasant hunting offers a fantastic way to put your hunting dog to work while discovering the unique grassland habitats spread across the southern part of the state,” said Alaina Gerrits, DNR wildlife biologist.
Pheasants are one of the most desirable game birds in North America, and populations do best in the agricultural landscape of southern and western Wisconsin, provided there is prairie habitat present. in sufficient quantity to meet their food and coverage needs throughout the year.
The department continues to prioritize the management and creation of grassland habitat, particularly in the southern half of the state where pheasants were historically abundant.
In the 2020-21 pheasant hunting season, an estimated 42,532 hunters went in search of pheasants and reported collecting around 272,000 birds.
Hunters are required to purchase a 2021 Wisconsin Pheasant Stamp to pursue these birds, helping to fund habitat restoration that benefits pheasants and many other wildlife. With revenues funded by stamps, MNR creates and maintains the habitat necessary for pheasants to survive and reproduce year round.
Check out the full regulations and licensing requirements on the MNR website.
Pheasant breeding program
In addition to wild pheasant hunting opportunities, MNR wildlife management staff plan to release approximately 75,000 pheasants from the state game farm on more than 88 public properties. The department will expand its vacation pheasant stock from 8 to 25 state-owned properties to increase opportunities for pheasant hunters and families to safely enjoy an end-of-season pheasant hunt. Barring weather concerns, the department plans to store these properties over a two-day period during the week of December 20, 2021.
Where to hunt
MNR’s free Hunt Wild Wisconsin mobile app includes a map layer showing where pheasants are stored on public lands. In addition to using it to locate great pheasant hunting opportunities, you can also check the regulations and purchase your permit.
Hunters can also use FFLIGHT, the MNR’s game bird mapping web application, to locate and explore properties with pheasants, as well as ruffed grouse and woodcock habitat and managed dove fields. FFLIGHT allows hunters to use aerial maps, topography and measurement tools to easily navigate and identify areas of interest and make their trips more productive and enjoyable.
The lands registered with the Voluntary Public Access Program (VPA) are open to public hunting during this pheasant season. The VPA program has over 30,000 acres of private land open to the public for hunting, fishing and birding year-round. Many properties are located a short drive from urban areas and are popular pheasant hunting locations.
Supervised hunting program
The supervised hunting program allows any hunter born on or after January 1, 1973 to obtain a hunting license and to hunt without having completed hunter training beforehand, provided that he hunts with a mentor and that it complies with all the requirements of the program. For more information and program requirements, click here.
For more information on the 2021 pheasant hunt, visit this MNR website.