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September 14, 2001


For more information contact:
Al Ivany at 609-292-2084

The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife has good news for Garden State pheasant hunters. According to Division Director Bob McDowell, this year's successful pheasant hatches at the Rockport Pheasant Farm in Warren County have produced a record number of birds for the 2001 pheasant season.

Approximately, 55,000 birds will be stocked on 25 wildlife management areas (WMAs) throughout the state. The birds are the result of seven hatches staggered through the spring and early summer.

The birds raised at the Rockport facility are a special strain of pheasant developed through a 20-year breeding program by game farm personnel. The birds are an engineered blend of the English Ringneck Pheasant, the Korean Green Pheasant, the Mongolian Pheasant, and Black Necked Pheasant. The best traits of each breed have been selected to produce the current strain which holds well for dogs, has a heart-stopping explosive flight and a remarkably handsome appearance. Their rapid flight has earned them the well-deserved name of "Rockport Rockets" among those who hunt them.

Stocking will begin in early November prior to the opening day of the pheasant season, November 11. The last stocking will occur on December 29. Additional information on stocking locations will be available on the Division's website at or by calling the Division at (609) 984-0457. These stockings provide almost two months of opportunity for the upland hunter.

Hunters must have a pheasant/quail stamp in possession in addition to the regular firearm hunting license to hunt for pheasants on stocked wildlife management areas. The cost for the stamp is $40 which provides more than six weeks of hunting birds that are stocked three days each week on most of the 25 WMAs. This stocking regimen amounts to 16 stocking days at a cost of $2.50 per stocking day to the individual hunter. For a mere $2.50 per day the stamp buyer gets a place to hunt that has been stocked with one of America's finest strains of game farm pheasants. In addition to this, the pheasant/quail stamp provides the opportunity to pursue 11,000 quail that are purchased and stocked on 17 days spread over two months. The quail are stocked on two South Jersey WMAs, Peaslee and Greenwood Forest, where portions of the areas are managed specifically for quail.

Hunters concerned by crowding should schedule their hunts after lunchtime when most hunters have gone for the day or on off-days when birds are not stocked. Surveys show that opening time hunters on stocking days take only 50% of the birds that were stocked for that day. As a result, there should be enough birds to provide rewarding outings for afternoon hunters and those hunting non-stocking days. Take advantage of this quality hunting experience and New Jersey's best hunting bargain by purchasing a pheasant/quail stamp and hunting wildlife management areas this season.