Aldo Leopold and Ring-necked Pheasants in Illinois
In Illinois, the first recognized successful release of pheasants came when a pair was released in the spring of 1890 near Macomb in west-central Illinois. A flock of nearly full-grown young pheasants was observed in the fall, and that success was all the evidence needed to convince sportsmen that pheasants were the game of the future.Citation:
In 1904, Illinois became the first state in the nation to open a state-operated game farm. Eggs and chicks were distributed to landowners, with some 36,723 pheasants having been released by the time Leopold began his 1929 study.
McFarland, Joe. 2002 (December). The pheasant century. Outdoor Illinois 10(12): 6-8.