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Home » Tompkins County » Despite impact of avian flu at Tompkins farm, the 2023 pheasant hunting season will go on, DEC says

Despite impact of avian flu at Tompkins farm, the 2023 pheasant hunting season will go on, DEC says

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed that the Fall 2023 pheasant season will go ahead as scheduled, despite the loss of the Reynolds Game Farm pheasant flock earlier this year due to a highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak.


The outbreak took place right here in the Finger Lakes; and many were concerned about the long-term implications.

The DEC will supplement fall upland bird hunting opportunities across the state by procuring ring-necked pheasants from a commercial hatchery. Traditionally, the DEC releases 30,000 pheasants across more than 100 publicly accessible hunting properties each year.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos recognized the critical role of pheasant hunting as a gateway to hunting for many New Yorkers and expressed gratitude for the ability to continue the pheasant program this fall. As New York lacks the habitat quantity required to support a wild, self-sustaining pheasant population, the pheasant propagation program is essential for maintaining hunting opportunities. The program serves as an invaluable recruitment tool, especially for youth, women, people with disabilities, and novice hunters.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Both young and adult birds will be brought to the Reynolds Game Farm in the coming weeks to be raised until ready for stocking. DEC reaffirmed its commitment to adhere to existing HPAI protocols to protect the flock and ensure the production and release of pheasants in 2023 and beyond. For further details about pheasant hunting in New York, including an interactive map of stocking locations, visit the DEC’s website.