Rockport, New Jersey Pheasant Farm Severely Damaged by October Snowstorm

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The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife reports that the Rockport Pheasant Farm in Warren County sustained severe damage from the snow that blanketed the northern third of the state on October 29. The 35 acres of range pens where pheasants were being held were heavily damaged by the weight of the snow despite Game Farm staff efforts to prepare for the storm prior to October 29.

Rockport staff and Fish and Wildlife personnel from throughout northern New Jersey are working to stabilize the situation by capturing escaped birds, freeing others trapped in snow collapsed pens and repairing damaged pens. The response effort is expected to continue throughout this week. At this time, the number of pheasants that perished or escaped is not known. The number of pheasants lost to the storm damage and the impact of those losses on this year's stocking schedule will be made public when the response effort is concluded.

To minimize disturbance to the work of the response crews and to facilitate the capture of escaped pheasants, Division of Fish and Wildlife Director, Dave Chanda, has given "Refuge" status to the entire 492-acre Rockport Wildlife Management Area, effective immediately. The order precludes hunting of any kind and will remain in effect until the pens have been repaired and as many pheasants as possible have been recaptured.

Although this event will affect the number of pheasants that will be stocked on State Wildlife Management Areas, Director Chanda is confident there will be no reduction in the number of Wildlife Management Areas stocked nor will there be a reduction in the number of pheasants stocked on Saturdays, up to and including Thanksgiving. However, the Division may not be able to stock as many weekdays or as many pheasants on weekdays as in previous years. The Division of Fish and Wildlife will keep hunters and the media informed as more information becomes available through listserv messages and updates posted on its website at www.njfishandwildlife.com.

Comments

Retired2hunt's picture

  I am certain that part of

 

I am certain that part of the program is to raise X amount of pheasants in order to stock Y amount of birds - if more should make it to adulthood then Z amount get stocked.  So in other words I would expect that there would be a "buffer" or increased percentage of birds in the first place.  It all depends on how many birds were lost in this storm.

I have visited one of these farms several times in the past.  The loose birds know where it is safe and where there is food - right back at the fences of their pens so I doubt many will wander too far - and if so just count that as part of the Rockport WMA's stocking.

To close a whole WMA is a serious decision and affects the planned hunts of many hunters.  Hopefully they area able to efficiently complete the restorations of these pens and get the stocking underway.

 

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Man, New Jersey has just

Man, New Jersey has just gotten hammered lately.  Hurricane Irene, then an October snowstorm.  Tough luck down there.

Sad to see the pheasant farm affected by this.  Pheasant plants and hunts are some great programs, ones that happen to introduc lots of first timers to the sport.  Hopefully they will be able to recoup some of their birds, or find some quick donations from others, in order for all of the stocking to go forward.