Fish & Game releases pheasant season schedule

The Department of Fish and Game through its Game Bird Heritage Program and the Southern Tulare County Sportsman Association are offering free public pheasant hunting near Springville.

In cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 700 male ring-necked pheasants will be released randomly from opening day on Nov. 13, 2004, through Dec. 11 on the wildlife area of Success Lake.

Please note, the area will be closed to hunting during the junior pheasant hunt Nov. 20-21. Providing hunter opportunity and access is a major goal of the Game Bird Heritage Program. These birds were purchased by the Game Bird Heritage Program through the purchase of an Upland Game Bird Stamp by hunters and raised from 8-week-old chicks by the Southern Tulare County Sportsman Association.

There is no fee or permit required for sportsmen and sportswomen to hunt this area. All laws and regulations regarding the taking of pheasants are in effect. An Upland Game Bird Stamp is required for all hunters except junior license holders. Please note that this area will be closed to all hunting until 8:00 a.m. during pheasant season.

For additional information, contact the Department of Fish and Game, Game Bird Heritage Program, at (559) 243-4005, extension 132 or 133. The Game Bird Heritage Program and the Tulare County Sportsman Association are pleased to offer this special hunt to the public. Please be safe and courteous. Enjoy your hunt.

Junior Pheasant Hunts

Twenty-four special junior pheasant hunts are being offered to young hunters. Hunters must be signed up or successfully drawn to participate in these hunts. Walk-up hunters will not be admitted.

The hunts will be held near the towns of Modesto (Mapes Ranch), Los Banos, Mendota, Springville, Lake Isabella and Taft. Eight hunts are in cooperation with private landowners, Success Lake hunt is on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land, Lake Isabella on United States Forest Service land and the O'Neill Forebay and Mendota hunts are located on Department of Fish and Game wildlife areas.

All hunts are supported by local sportsmen's organizations. These sportsmen's clubs include Safari Club International, California Central Valley Chapter (Mapes Ranch, Modesto), Los Banos Sportsmen's Association and Quail Unlimited-Stockton Chapter (O'Neill Forebay Wildlife Area), Fresno County Sportsmen's Club (Mendota Wildlife Area), Southern Tulare County Sportsman Association (Success Lake), Fish and Game Habitat Club (Lake Isabella), and the Taft Sportsmen's Club (Taft). Two hunts are scheduled per day, from 8:00 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 p.m. to sunset. Male ring-necked pheasants will be released prior to each hunt period.

Junior hunters (Junior license holders) must be accompanied by an adult (18 years of age or older). The adult accompanying the junior hunter cannot hunt or carry a shotgun. An Upland Game Bird Stamp is not required of junior license holders.

Up to four junior hunters may apply as a party. When applying for the hunts, provide the following information for yourself and any other junior hunter(s) in your party: 1) name, 2) address, 3) daytime and evening telephone numbers, 4) 2004-2005 hunting license number, and 5) location (e.g., Taft), date and hunt period in order of preference.

Hunters may apply only once for each hunt, either as an applicant or as a guest. Submitting multiple applications will disqualify you from the drawing.

An application is available to apply for the Modesto (Mapes Ranch), Mendota and O'Neill hunts only. For all other hunts, simply provide the information requested above and mail it to the name and address of the hunt you are applying for.

Family Pheasant Hunts

Twenty-two San Joaquin Valley family pheasant hunting opportunities are being offered.

Up to four family members may apply as a party. When applying for the hunts, you must indicate the family member(s) in your party.

The hunts will be held near the towns of Modesto, Oakdale, Gustine, Merced, Chowchilla, San Joaquin, Kettleman City, Stevinson, Alpaugh and Bakersfield.

All of the hunts are in cooperation with private landowners with the exception of the Merced hunt, which will be held on the City of Merced property, and the Gustine hunt, which will be held on the Department's China Island Wildlife Area.

The Stanislaus, Madera, Fresno, Tulare and Kern County fish and game fine committees are also supporting the hunts by purchasing pheasants through the disbursement of fine monies collected from fish and game violators. Most of the hunts are also supported by local sportsmen's organizations.

Two hunts are scheduled per day, from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to sunset. Male ring-necked pheasants will be released prior to each hunt.

Cost is $13.50 per entry fee (waived at the Gustine hunt in lieu of a two-day or annual hunting area pass) collected when you check in. An Upland Game Bird Stamp is required of all hunters, except junior license holders. Hunters under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult (18 years or older).

When applying for the hunts, provide the following information for yourself and any other family hunter(s): 1) name, 2) address, 3) daytime and evening telephone numbers, 4) 2004-2005 hunting license number and 5) hunt number, location (e.g. [H] Merced), date and hunt period in order of preference. Hunters may apply only once for each hunt,. Applications must be mailed or returned to:

Game Bird Heritage Family

Pheasant Hunts

1234 East Shaw Avenue

Fresno, California 93710

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29.

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