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It’s not too soon to submit your application for the 2021 pheasant release through the state Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program. Landowners interested in releasing pen-reared ring-necked pheasants have until Jan. 15 to submit an application.  


Under FWP’s Upland Game Bird Release Program, landowners who attempt to enhance pheasant populations in suitable habitat may apply annually for up to five consecutive years. Projects must comprise at least 100 contiguous acres of land and contain a combination of habitat components-including cover and food-that upland game birds need to survive. Lands enrolled in the pheasant release program must allow free public access to hunt upland game birds during the season the releases take place. 


Application for releases must be received at FWP’s headquarters in Helena no later than Friday, Jan. 15. Pheasants eligible to be released will take place between Aug. 1 and Sept. 15.  


Hunting preserves, lands that host a commercial hunting enterprise and lands where hunting rights are leased or paid for are not eligible. Releases may not take place in Fergus, Richland or Roosevelt counties. 


For more information, and to download an application form, visit FWP’s website at—search “Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program,” or contact Debbie Hohler at 406-444-5674, or by e-mail to