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Fostering pheasants: NY DEC seeks caretakers for chicks

Male common pheasant
Male common pheasant

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking qualified applicants to foster pheasant chicks for two months until they can be released into the wild. Last year the DEC distributed 41,500 day-old chicks (at no charge) to volunteer caretakers as part of a program to “improve recreational activities for in-state activities and out-of-state hunters to increase tourism here.”

The chicks will be handed out between April and June this year. Applicants must make sure the chicks are fed and watered every day and regularly monitor their health. In addition, they must prove that they can provide a “brooding facility, covered outdoor pen, and an adequate release site, NOT in a private shooting ground.” All chicks must be released when they are 8 weeks old.

Applications must be filed with a DEC regional manager no later than March 15, 2014. Interested parties on Long Island can contact the DEC at 50 Circle Rd., Stony Brook, NY 11790 or call 631-444-0310. Those in other parts of the state can obtain more information by calling the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-0001 518-402-8013