November 5, 1997

For more information contact:
Tony Petrongolo at 609-984-1401

Beginning November 8, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife will stock the Pequest Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Oxford, Warren County with approximately 1,500 ring-necked pheasants. With the loss of bobwhite quail production from the Forked River Game Farm and rising program costs, the division was forced to replace traditional quail stockings on the Pequest WMA with pheasants from the stocking allotments of six North Jersey WMAs (Berkshire Valley, Black River, Clinton, Delaware Watergap National Recreation Area, Flatbrook and Whittingham).

In August, the Fish and Game Council approved the division's proposal regarding pheasant stocking on the 4,000-acre Pequest WMA. According to the proposal, quail would no longer be stocked at Pequest, but would be replaced with pheasants to try to distribute the hunting pressure across more areas.

"According to the majority of sportsmen and women surveyed, the most important factor in creating a positive hunting experience is the elimination of crowded conditions," said division Director Bob McDowell. "Therefore, it seemed only natural to shift some birds from other areas to Pequest in an effort to better distribute hunting pressure and increase the quality of the hunting experience for all involved."

"As more and more lands are added to the growing Wildlife Management Area System, we will continue to look for opportunities to spread stocked birds out over a larger area to help reduce crowding and increase the quality of the hunting experience for all involved," McDowell said.

"Should the Fish and Game Council's funding initiative for the Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife be approved, it will allow us an opportunity to increase pheasant stocking on all wildlife management areas," said Fish and Game Council Chairman Charles Suk.

Stocking of the Pequest WMA will occur on the following dates: November 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29, Dec. 4, 6, 20, 23, 27, 30 and Jan. 3.

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