Michigan DNR Announces Expanded Pheasant Release

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Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Lansing, MI — October 18, 2023

Michigan pheasant hunters, here is some great news. Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced they will be releasing pheasants in specified areas beginning in October.

The state’s pheasant release program is continuing to grow… get ready to hit the fields and explore Michigan’s diverse landscapes like never before.

What’s New for 2023

  1. Three times more rooster pheasants: Compared to last year, the DNR is releasing three times more rooster pheasants, ensuring a higher chance of thrilling encounters during your hunts.
  2. Four new release sites: Release locations are expanding to include Cass City, Crane Pond, Dansville, and Stanton state game areas. These new sites offer fresh opportunities to discover the beauty of Michigan’s wilderness.
  3. December releases: For those of you who can’t get enough of the hunt, extra releases have been added in December on state game areas with open pheasant hunting seasons. Extend your season and make more memories!
Photo Courtesy of Michigan DNR

Adam Bump, the DNR upland game bird specialist, expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “For seasoned hunters and newcomers alike, this is a prime opportunity for everyone to experience the thrill of pheasant hunting. We’re excited to expand the pheasant release program and offer hunters a unique chance to connect or reconnect with upland bird hunting in Michigan. The increased number of rooster pheasants and the addition of new release locations ensure that hunters can enjoy a memorable hunting season.”

Important Dates

Mark your calendars for the rooster-only pheasant releases, taking place from Oct. 20 to Nov. 14, coinciding with the pheasant hunting season. And don’t forget, all release sites with an open December pheasant hunting season will have an additional pheasant release in December.

Release Locations

This year, pheasants will be released in 13 state game/wildlife areas throughout southern Michigan, making it easier than ever for you to plan your hunting adventures.

  • Cass City (Tuscola County) – fall and December release.
  • Cornish (Van Buren County) – fall release only.
  • Crane Pond (Cass County) – fall release only.
  • Crow Island (Bay and Saginaw counties) – fall and December release.
  • Dansville (Ingham County) – fall and December release.
  • Erie (Monroe County) – fall and December release.
  • Lapeer (Lapeer County) – fall and December release.
  • Leidy Lake (St. Joseph County) – fall and December release.
  • Pinconning (Bay County) – fall release only.
  • Pointe Mouillee (Monroe and Wayne counties) – fall and December release.
  • Rose Lake (Clinton and Shiawassee counties) – fall and December release.
  • Stanton (Montcalm County) – fall and December release.
  • St. Johns Marsh (St. Clair County) – fall and December release.

Supporting Conservation

The sale of the $25 pheasant license funds the pheasant release program, with pheasants supplied by the Michigan Association of Gamebird Breeders and Hunting Preserves. Your contribution helps support conservation efforts and ensures a thriving upland bird population.

Get Ready to Hunt

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources encourages you to take full advantage of this remarkable opportunity to connect with nature and experience the joy of upland bird hunting. To learn more about the pheasant release program, including licensing requirements and season dates, visit Michigan.gov/SmallGame.

Don’t miss out on this chance to make the 2023 upland bird hunting season your best one yet! Plan your adventures, gather your gear, and get ready for an unforgettable experience in Michigan’s great outdoors.