About the Pheasant Restoration Initiative

The DNR is partnering with Pheasants Forever, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Michigan Department of Agriculture, local Conservation Districts and other conservation organizations to facilitate a revitalization of Michigan pheasants. This initiative has the potential to change small game hunting opportunities, increase wildlife populations, improve hunter satisfaction and help Michigan's economy.

"We are giving greater focus to small game hunting opportunities in Michigan," said Wildlife Division chief Russ Mason. "We believe by restoring our high-quality pheasant hunting tradition there will be the creation of new hunters and the return of hunters who have left the sport."

Three priority Pheasant Recovery Areas have been identified for this initiative: 1) Huron, Sanilac, and Tuscola counties; 2) Hillsdale, Lenawee, and Monroe counties; and 3) Gratiot, Saginaw, and Clinton counties. To participate in this cooperative initiative, a group of property owners must agree to work together to improve pheasant and small game habitat on their collective acreages.

"We believe that habitat restoration must be done in large landscape blocks to achieve meaningful recovery," Mason continued. "We are focusing on working with coalitions of private landowners to restore pheasant habitat on 15-30 percent of the landscape within Pheasant Recovery Areas."

For participating coalitions, DNR staff will provide advice and assistance on habitat prescriptions; project partners will aid in securing seed for grass plantings, and federal resources may be leveraged to provide financial incentives for participating landowners. Also, for land that meets habitat restoration objectives, the DNR may provide seed and/or materials for plantings, the use of equipment, and in some cases, the release of wild pheasants to initiate population response.

To get involved in the Pheasant Restoration Initiative, landowners may contact DNR Upland Game Bird Specialist Al Stewart (stewarta1@michigan.gov) or Conservation Partners Program Specialist Mike Parker (parkerm5@michigan.gov).

For more information, see the following: