DNR Offering Incentives to Restore Pheasant and Quail Habitat
In the early 1960s and '70s, pheasant and bobwhite quail were abundant in Indiana. With nearly 4 million acres of Hoosier farmland set-aside in U.S. Department of Agriculture land retirement programs, these idle fields provided undisturbed nesting and brood-rearing habitat for pheasant and quail alike.
Today, only slightly more than 250,000 acres of cropland are being idled in USDA programs across the state. As a result, Indiana has lost more than 93 percent of its idle nesting and brood-rearing cover.
The loss of idled farmland acres, changes in farming practices, and the wide spread use of tall fescue have led to significant declines in pheasant, bobwhite quail, and grassland songbird populations.
To help address population declines the DNR has developed habitat priority areas to focus efforts in developing, enhancing, and maintaining habitat for pheasants and quail. Landowners within selected habitat priority counties and townships will be eligible to apply for a one-time signing incentive for enrollment in the USDA’s CRP-CP33, Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds.
The signing incentive can be up to 120 percent of the average soil rental rate and is in addition to any signing incentive payments provided by USDA.
Interested landowners can take advantage of this limited time offer by calling the appropriate priority area biologist to discuss habitat management on their property. The biologist will prepare a management plan for each acceptable parcel and determine the total amount of incentive payments the landowner may be eligible to receive.
To be eligible for the incentive payments, a priority area biologist must approve the habitat practice or practice enrollment prior to implementation. Payments will be made after the work has been completed and inspected by the priority area biologist or their designated representative.
A detailed map of pheasant priority areas is available on the World Wide Web at: www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/hunt/phhabitat.pdf and a detailed map of quail priority areas can be found at: www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/hunt/quailhab.pdf
Pheasant Priority Areas
All of Newton, Jasper, and Benton Counties
Warren County - Prairie Twp
Contact: Bob Porch
Phone: (219) 285-2704
Tippecanoe County - N of Hwy 52 and W of I-65
Tippecanoe County - S of Wabash and SR 26 and W of I-65
Montgomery County - N of I-74
Fountain County - N of I-74 and E of Hwy 41
Contact: Dean Zimmerman
Phone: (765) 567-2152
Contact: Tom Hewitt
Phone: (765) 473-9324
Dekalb County - Fairfield Twp
Noble County - Wayne Twp
LaGrange County - Milford Twp
Steuben County - Salem Twp
Contact: Al Van Hoey
Phone: (260) 367-2186
Starke County - California Twp
Contact: Mike Schoof
Phone: (574) 896-3522
Porter County – S of SR 8
Marshall County – E of US 31 & S of US 30
Contact: Linda Byer
Phone: (574) 896-3572
Clinton County – Washington and Perry Twp
Contact: Rick Peercy
Phone: (317) 591-0904
LaPorte Co.- Washington, Union, Lincoln, and Johnson Twps
Contact: Ron Lorman
Phone: (219) 393-3612
Quail Priority Areas
Putnam County – Marion, Jefferson, and Cloverdale (East of US 231) Twps
Morgan County – Ashland, Ray, Baker, Jefferson, Washington, and
Contact: Josh Griffin
Phone: (812) 526-4891
Contact: Roger Stonebraker
Phone: (812) 268-0300
Lawrence County –Pleasant Run, Shawswick, Bono, and Guthrie Twps
Jackson County –Salt Creek and Owen Twp.
Contact: Bloomington Field Office
Phone: (812) 334-1137
Ripley County – North of US 50
Contact: Ed Guljas
Phone: (812) 346-6888
Contact: Chris Grauel
Phone: (812) 352-8486
Greene County – Taylor Twp
Contact: Bob Montgomery
Phone: (812) 644-7382
Warrick County – Lane, Owen, Pigeon, and Skelton Twps
Contact: Jeff Thompson
Phone: (812) 789-2724
Harrison County – South of I-64
Contact: Mark Bennett
Phone: (812) 849-4586