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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that DEC is accepting applications for sponsored pheasant hunts. Sponsored hunts are free, non-competitive events coordinated by a group, club, individual, or organization to benefit youth, women, first-time hunters, veterans, and people with disabilities. As part of the program, DEC provides up to 50 game farm-raised pheasants to each sponsoring organization free of charge.

“Sponsored pheasant hunts are a great opportunity for experienced hunters to share their knowledge and experience with new hunters,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Not only are these hunters teaching novices about ethics and safety, they are introducing new hunters of all abilities to the great tradition of upland bird hunting.”

In addition to the pheasants reared for fall stocking throughout New York State, DEC’s Reynolds Game Farm in Ithaca raises 2,000 pheasants each year for sponsored hunts. In a sponsored hunt, dedicated local hunters share their expertise with beginners in a supportive environment. This program gives individuals the chance to embark on a life-long pursuit of hunting and outdoor enjoyment.

Volunteers are key to this program’s success. To sponsor a hunt, interested individuals and organizations should contact the local DEC regional office for an application (a list of DEC regional offices is provided below). Program requirements and applications are available for download on DEC’s website. All applications must be received by the local regional wildlife office no later than September 1. Successful applicants will be notified via phone. If an application is approved, sponsors are required to arrange with the Reynolds Game Farm to coordinate a delivery time, date, and location.

New Yorkers are encouraged to recreate responsibly and Play Smart * Play Safe * Play Local. Organizers of sponsored hunts should be prepared to follow state guidelines for social gatherings to minimize the community spread of COVID-19. Social gatherings are only permitted if 10 or fewer people are in attendance in Phase One regions, 25 or fewer people in Phases Two and Three regions, and 50 or fewer people in attendance in Phase Four regions. The current phase for each region is shown on this map. For more information, visit the New York State Department of Health website.

DEC Regional Office

R6 – Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida and St. Lawrence counties:
317 Washington Street
Watertown, NY 13601
315-785-2263