2012-10-20 / Outdoors

Students release ‘their’ pheasants


Brian Gillette assists Chase Streich as he releases a hen pheasant on the Andrews Farm just outside of Emporium. Cameron County third graders hatched the pheasants in their classroom in the spring as part of a program sponsored by Cameron County Youth Outdoor Activities. Brian Gillette assists Chase Streich as he releases a hen pheasant on the Andrews Farm just outside of Emporium. Cameron County third graders hatched the pheasants in their classroom in the spring as part of a program sponsored by Cameron County Youth Outdoor Activities. Woodland Elementary School third graders traveled to the Andrews Farm recently to release the pheasants they hatched in their classrooms in the spring.

The peeps were hatched from eggs donated by the Game Commission and kept warm in incubators. Once hatched, the chicks were taken to Dave Grimone’s in North Creek where they were raised through the summer.

At the Andrews farm the students learned how to tell the difference between cock birds (males) and hens. They also learned about the pheasant’s diet and the type of habitat they prefer. They learned interesting facts about pheasants such as how fast they can run and flfly.

The group also learned about the the sorghum fifields where the pheasants were released and how it was planted specififically for wildlife habitat and about the habitat that was specially grown on the farm.

The program, which was sponsored by Cameron County Outdoor Youth Activities, was expanded this year by including North Central Whitetail Branch, the Local Chapter of Quality Deer Management Association. Member Brian Gillette was on hand to educate the students about antler growth and deer aging. A large display of deer antlers and mounts was shown coming from Rich McCaulay’s personal collection of deer he has harvested, purchased or sheds he has found.

Don Bickford of CCOYA expressed his appreciation to the school district, Game Commission, Pheasants Forever Chapter 630, Fox Township Sportsmans Club, QDMA Chapter, Grimone and the many other individuals who helped make this program a success.

“This is an educational experience for everyone involved,” Bickford said. “I believe the program has provided positive memories that will last a lifetime for the students.”

Bickford said plans for the pheasant raising program are already in the works for next year.

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