Where have November and December gone?
It just seemed as if the ringneck pheasant and bobwhite quail stocking schedule kicked off for the November 11 opener, and here it is with a mere 15 days remaining in the 2023 season.
As of tomorrow, there are but six stocking days for pheasants left on the calendar for 23 select New Jersey wildlife management areas in the northern, central and southern sections of the state, in addition to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in portions of Sussex and Warren counties in the northern region.
Two wildlife management areas, one central (Greenwood) and one south (Peaslee) are recipients of quail, and their release is on the same schedule.
When concluded, a total of 57,480 pheasants and 11,000 quail will have been stocked.
While there isn’t much time, there are still plenty of ringnecks and bobs to be loosed. A bonus is in the form of significantly reduced hunting pressure, especially during the week.
Indeed, this is makes for prime time hunting. Good numbers of birds (in addition to any holdovers that survived not only swarms of pellets but also the likes of foxes, owls and red tailed hawks) and plenty of space when compared to the November crowds.
To be sure, the lands management crews for the DEP’s Fish & Wildlife get the birds out, no matter the weather.
The ringnecks and quail are stocked the evening prior. This means Monday for Tuesday, Wednesday for Thursday, and Friday for Saturday.
Birds will be put out for tomorrow, then again for next Tuesday and Thursday; Saturday (December 23), Thursday (December 28), and Saturday (December 30).
The stocking numbers for the respective tracts are listed on page 55 in the NJ 2023-24 Hunting & Trapping Digest and in the hunting section of the www.njfishandwildlife.com website.
About 2024: it’s a good idea to purchase next year’s Pheasant & Quail Stamp (all ‘24 licenses, permits and stamps are now available at license agents and also at the aforementioned site), as there are always a few pheasant and bob survivors to make a January hunt or two worth the effort.
The pheasant season extends through February 19; the quail season closes January 31. Happy New Year...
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