FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2012 Pheasant Release Program Will See Increased Numbers of Birds and Release Properties
EDMONTON, Alberta (Sept. 5, 2012) – Upland Birds Alberta (UBA) is pleased to announce that the 2012 provincial pheasant release program will see an increase in the number of roosters released and the addition of new release sites. A total of 16,250 pheasants will be released across southern Alberta, up from the 13,900 released in 2011. Additionally, new release properties will be added, including the Connie North property south of Stettler, and at Frank Lake, east of High River. UBA is overseeing the pheasant release program this year at the request of the Government of Alberta.
UBA board member Bill Turnbull credits effective partnerships for the release program’s growth. “The Alberta Conservation Association, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Alberta Fish and Game Association in particular have made significant contributions in growing the program,” says Turnbull. “They’ve made available new properties for release and have offered significant volunteer support that will reduce costs associated with releasing birds. The Canadian Pheasant Company, in Brooks, who are providing the birds for the release program again this year, were able to provide roosters at improved prices compared to 2011, also contributing to our ability to grow this year’s program.”
Initial release dates are also being bumped up for three properties in the Red Deer/Stettler area. The Buffalo Lake, Bigelow and Connie North release properties will see releases commencing October 1 this year, two weeks earlier than the historic October 15 release opener.
While UBA and its stakeholders are pleased with the growth for 2012, the long-term future of Alberta’s pheasant release program is still very much up in the air. “We’re very pleased that the government provided funding for this year’s release program,” says Turnbull, “as it keeps alive a tradition that has been part of Alberta’s rural economy and culture for more than 65 years. However, a long-term commitment from the province is necessary if we want to ensure this iconic slice of southern Alberta’s economic and recreational fabric continues to provide benefits to rural communities. Given the $10 million impact of pheasant hunting to Alberta’s economy, it just makes good sense to invest in the program.”
Upland Birds Alberta is a grassroots organization of concerned individuals with a passion for Alberta’s pheasant hunting traditions and an interest in putting their collective relationships and resources together to help bring about positive change in the province’s pheasant release program and promote upland bird hunting and its impact on Alberta.