Birds will soon hit the ground under a Fish, Wildlife and Parks program aimed at increasing the number of youth hunters by stocking pen-raised pheasants on state-owned land across Montana, including Beckman Wildlife Management Area near Denton.
The project has ruffled the feathers of some sportsmen’s groups, who call it a waste of wildlife funding dollars they say should be spent instead on improving pheasant habitat, while supporters say it is a valid way to encourage more youth to hunt.
The 2021 state legislature approved, via House Bill 637, spending up to $1 million a year to pay the state prison farm to raise 50,000 pheasants. The funding was approved for 2021 and 2022, and in 2023 becomes part of FWP’s base budget. Half of the funds will come from Pittman Robertson funds (federal excise taxes on firearms, ammunition and archery equipment) and half from state hunting license dollars.
Read more from the Lewistown News-Argus here...