New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced 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 propagated pheasants to each sponsoring organization free of charge.
“Sponsored hunts are a great opportunity for new hunters of all abilities to learn first-hand about hunting ethics and safety,” Commissioner Seggos said. “These hunts are also a great opportunity for experienced hunters to share knowledge with novice hunters, helping to strengthen New York’s hunting tradition.”
DEC’s Reynolds Game Farm near Ithaca provides pheasants for sponsored pheasant hunts. Located on Game Farm Road in the town of Dryden, Tompkins County, the Richard E. Reynolds Game Farm has been in continuous operation since 1927. Named for former manager and noted gamebird nutrition expert “Dick” Reynolds, the farm is open to public visitation during normal business hours.
Reynolds Game Farm Manager Evan Willis said, “Our team is proud to play an important supporting role in passing the hunting tradition from one generation to the next.”
In addition to the 30,000 pheasants reared for fall stocking throughout New York State, DEC’s Reynolds Game Farm staff raise 2,000 pheasants each year for sponsored hunts. Volunteers are key to this program’s success. In a sponsored hunt, dedicated local hunters share their expertise with beginners in a supportive environment.
Program requirements and applications are available for download on DEC’s website. Applications must be received by Reynolds Game Farm no later than Sept. 1, 2022. 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. For additional information, or to locate a sponsored pheasant hunt near you, please contact the Reynolds Game Farm at (607)273-2768 or by e-mailing Wildlife@dec.ny.gov with the subject line: Sponsored Pheasant Hunt.