Pheasants Originally from China

A pheasant raised on the Sheridan Bird Farm is released. (Courtesy photo)

Ring-necked pheasants, which are the ones raised on the bird farm here in Sheridan County and popular with hunters, aren't indigenous to Wyoming.

Bud Stewart, who's the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's public information specialist for the Sheridan Region, says the birds in fact aren't indigenous to anywhere in North America.

Stewart said the Game and Fish Department has been raising the birds at the Sheridan Bird Farm since the 1930s. He said he thinks about 16,000 to 18,000 birds a year are raised at the farm.

Not all of those are released. He said Darrell Meineke, who's the bird farm supervisor, holds back some of the birds for breeding. Stewart said in Sheridan and Johnson counties, hunters are allowed to shoot only the male birds.

He said Yellowtail is near Lovell, and Sand Mesa near Riverton.

Stewart said nearly all of the pheasants in Sheridan County's Walk-In Areas 2 and 3 are birds that have been released from the bird farm. But, he said, there are some wild breeding populations of pheasants in Sheridan County.

Walk-In Area 3 has been closed to hunting this year because of the fires in that area in September, and birds that would normally be released in that area will be released this year in other hunt areas in Sheridan, Johnson and Campbell counties.

View another photo below.

A pheasant in grass. (Courtesy photo)