I know a lot of people who raise chickens, I know some who have guinea hens, but I don't think I know anyone who helps raise pheasants. Apparently, there's a program that began in New York State in the early 1900's, that asks sportsmen and women, 4-H youth groups, and landowners to help raise, and then, release pheasants. It's called the Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program, and it provides more opportunities for pheasant hunting in New York.

This program is funded by the State Conservation Fund, which is supported by license fees which every hunter, angler, and trapper must pay. According to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, participants receive a day-old chick at no cost, but having adequate brooding facilities, a covered outdoor pen, and an adequate release site are requirements to participate.

Daily monitoring and care are required to ensure the rapidly-growing chicks have sufficient food and water. Approved applicants will receive the day-old chicks in April, May, or June. The pheasants can be released once they reach eight weeks of age, but no later than December 1.

Applications for this program will be accepted until March 25. Last year, more than 34,500 day-old chicks were given to qualified participants. Each county has its own office where you can request additional information or complete an application. Click here for your county's office.

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