Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Quail and Pheasant Stocking in New Jersey

This article appeared on the Mid-Atlantic Game & Fish website some time prior to the 2003-2004 hunting season. An excerpt:
According to statistics from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), the state annually releases 50,000-plus [ring-necked] pheasants, which are raised at the state’s Rockport Pheasant Farms. In addition, 11,000-plus [northern] bobwhite quail are stocked on two wildlife management areas (WMAs) in the southern portion of the state, namely Greenwood Forest and Peaslee WMAs. These stocking figures have remained pretty consistent for the last decade or more, with the exception of some lean years in the late ‘90s, when the DFW faced a budget crisis.

Quail stocking in the Garden State has also changed in recent years. Bobwhite quail were originally raised at the Forked River Game Farm. The game farm was gradually phased out and produced its last birds in 1996. The DFW now purchases quail for stocking from private in-state game farms. Buying the birds from private game farms saves the state money while providing wingshooters with a healthier stock of birds as well.
The schedule (.pdf) of quail and pheasant releases for 2006-2007 indicates a marked reduction in the number of birds being released (i.e., 5,200 Northern bobwhite and 2,000 Ring-necked Pheasants). The reason for the reductions in the number of birds being stocked is not immediately available. It would be interesting to know percentage of these birds are bagged by hunters.

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