BEST VIEWING & HUNTING OPPORTUNITIES
• Best seen along rural roads near hay fields, pastures, farm fields and abandoned fields in glaciated Ohio.
• Deer Creek Wildlife Area, Fayette, Madison, & Pickaway counties
• Big Island Wildlife Area, Marion County
• Lake LaSuAn Wildlife Area, Williams County
• Wildlife Production Areas in Northwest, Central, and West-central Ohio
This popular game bird is found where farm fields are interspersed with hay, pasture, abandoned fields, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) fields, fence rows and field dividers. Pheasant populations have declined since their peak in the 1930s and 1940s with harvest rates reaching all-time lows in the mid-1980s. Harvest success rates have stabilized since the inception of the CRP. This species has been monitored by the North American Breeding Bird Survey and has declined 4.3% per year in Ohio since 1966. A statewide pheasant crowing count survey was initiated in 2001 (Figure 1). These data indicate that pheasant numbers have been relatively stable 2001-2009 with marked declines since 2010. Changes in land use, especially the removal of scrubby fence rows and conversion of CRP back to cropland, can have devastating effects on upland game populations, including pheasants. Hunting success will likely be best in the northwest, central and west-central regions of Ohio.
Survey details and historical data can be found in the Grassland Species Overview.
Additional information about the Breeding Bird Survey can be found at: www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/