Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Lansing, MI — November 2, 2021
Ask any bird hunter and they are likely to tell you that pheasant is the game bird they most enjoy hunting. When a ringneck pheasant flushes it is a spectacular scene that is sure to get the blood pumping. The fact that pheasants make an excellent meal adds to the desire to encounter these game animals.
Pheasant numbers in Michigan make it hard for hunters to find this elusive prey. Often pheasant farms are the alternative to stalking them in the wild. But thanks to a private donation, bird numbers are going to increase on state game lands.
Jimmy and Kris Beachum
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources thanks Alex Beachum for his donation of $25,000 to stock rooster pheasants on state game areas in memory of his mother, Kristine “Kris” Beachum.
The Beachum family moved from bustling Plymouth in 1978, to middle-of-nowhere Deerfield Township north of Howell. Moving away from their family and friends, the Beachums planted their roots in rural Livingston County with only a party phone line to connect them with the life they left behind.
“My dad needed to bird hunt,” Alex said. “And for my mom, as she had done throughout her life, she sacrificed her pleasantries and wants so that her family was happy and whole.”
Alex’s memory of his mother is best exemplified by her willingness and acceptance of his father’s obsession with pheasants and bird dogs. It was this sacrifice and selflessness that inspired Alex to donate money to the DNR to stock pheasants for hunting.
The Michigan Association of Gamebird Breeders and Hunting Preserves, through coordination with the DNR, will stock state game areas with rooster pheasants throughout southern Michigan. The stocking will take place on nine state game areas for the first pheasant season from Oct. 20 through Nov. 14.
Those state game areas include Cornish, Crow Island, Erie, Lapeer, Leidy Lake, Pinconning, Point Mouillee, Rose Lake and St. John’s Marsh.
Pheasant hunters, age 17 and older, will need a $25 pheasant license to pursue pheasants on public or Hunting Access Program lands in the Lower Peninsula. License sale revenue will be used to purchase and stock rooster pheasants during upcoming pheasant seasons.