Washington pheasants hold steady, prospects are fair to good for the hunt
By Tom Carpenter
“We had a later spring than usual,” reports Anis Aoude, Game Division Manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “But summer was dry and warm, which seemed to help the pheasant hatch and production.”
“I think it’s going to be a pretty good year for pheasants,” he says. “Anecdotally, our biologists are seeing good numbers of pheasant broods out there.”
“The heart of Washington pheasant country is in the center of the state,” says Aoude. “Chelan, Yakima and Douglas Counties are tops. Farther east of there can be good too – the Ellensburg area in Kittitas County, and Moses Lake area in Grant County, both have good pockets of birds.”
“In the Southeast, agricultural areas in valleys near the Blue Mountains can be good as well,” he adds.
Looking ahead, Aoude calls out the upcoming Farm Bill as a key to the future of Washginton’s birds. Pheasant populations are steady, but that will ebb and flow with grassland – which means CRP – on the landscape. “CRP ground is essential for pheasants in Washington,” he states.
WASHINGTON HUNTING TIPS
*Washington has a strong public-access-to-private-lands
program featuring “Feel Free to Hunt,” “Register to Hunt” and “Hunt by Reservation” Programs.
Washington Pheasant Page
Washington Upland Bird Regulations
Washington Public Hunting Access
Washington Hunting Prospects 2017
Tom Carpenter is Digital Content Manager for Pheasants Forever.