FWP releasing pheasants for hunting season

Pheasant season opens Oct. 8.

To increase hunters’ opportunity for success, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will release pheasants at four wildlife management areas.

The birds will be released in the days prior to Oct. 8 at Warm Springs WMA near Deer Lodge, Canyon Ferry WMA and Lake Helena WMA near Helena, and at Freezout Lake WMA near Choteau.

Prior to the youth pheasant hunt weekend on Sept. 24-25, FWP staff released pheasants at 15 WMAs around the state, including Lake Helena, Canyon Ferry and Freezout. This will be the first release at Warm Springs WMA this year, according to FWP.

More releases are planned on FWP lands through pheasant season. Releases will include both roosters and hen pheasants.

At its August meeting, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the release of up to 50,000 pheasants annually on FWP WMAs through 2026.

In 2021, the Legislature authorized spending up to $1 million each year for the program.

For more information on hunting pheasants and other upland game birds, go to https://fwp.mt.gov/hunt/regulations/upland-game-bird. To read the upland game bird forecast, click here.