In the Field: Pheasant Opener

by Anna Mitterling, Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator, MUCC

The middle of October is officially upon us! Which means two things: first, we still have two and a half months of deer hunting, and second, pheasants are fair game starting on October 20! Oh… and turkey season is open until November 14. So many fun options! With pheasant opener next week, I wanted to take some time to talk about what you can do to increase your chances of seeing pheasants in Southern Michigan.

In 2010 the DNR created the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative (MPRI) program. They are 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.

MPRI.jpgPheasants require specific habitat conditions to thrive. The loss of winter and nesting cover over the past couple decades has led to a drastic decline in their populations. Working with neighbors, we can collectively create a larger set of plots containing this quality habitat, providing a place for pheasants to populate.

Since the creation of MPRI, several pheasant focused cooperatives and thousands of acres of quality habitat have been created. The partnerships between private landowners, state game areas, and many other agencies and organizations, have made this expansion possible.

 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.

If you are interested in seeing more pheasants on your property, and you live in the priority areas, please contact me. I am here to help connect you with professionals and resources to improve habitat in your area. 

For more information on MPRI, click here.

For more information on financial assistance you may be eligible for, click here.

You can contact me at or 517-346-6454

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