Winter moisture helped Utah ringnecks pull off what looks like a decent hatch. Hunting should be okay.
By Tom Carpenter
“Utah had an extremely hot and dry summer,” says Jason Robinson, Upland Game Project Leader with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. “But I think there was still plenty of available water from the harsh winter we had.” That should have been good news for growing grassland habitat, and the insects that hatched chicks need to thrive.
Due to its extremely dry climate, Utah does not conduct roadside pheasant counts in the summer. Traditional spots should still produce success. “Utah Lake, the east shore of the Great Salt Lake and the Cache valley should all have birds,” says Robinson. “The Uinta Basin is also good.”
“There is also great hunting on state wildlife management areas,” he says, “though they can be crowded.” Map out some WMA spots to hit on Utah’s public hunting mapping tool
for Walk-In Access areas and WMAs.
Utah works to keep its pheasant tradition going. Where there is habitat, the state can be a fine place for ringnecks. ““The Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative (WRI) and the Utah Habitat Council are essential habitat programs here,” says Robinson. “Between the two, Utah improves over 50,000 acres per year. Pheasant projects are completed each year, usually at the clip of a few hundred to thousand acres per year.”
Utah Hunting Tip
*In Utah, water is the name of the game. Whether it’s a creek bottom, river valley, marsh or irrigation ditch, pheasants will be in the vicinity of something moist … and usually with a flight of agriculture in the form of grain, hay or pasture land.\
Tom Carpenter is Digital Content Manager for Pheasants Forever.