Michigan: Pheasant Stamp Would Fund Release Program and Habitat for Wild Birds

Contact: Nick Buggia, Upper Midwestern States Manager

On March 17, Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Representative Gary Howell introduced House Bill 4313. This bill would require anyone 16 years-of-age or older to purchase a pheasant stamp to hunt pheasants in the state. The $25.00 stamp would be in addition to the base license required for small game hunting in Michigan. Revenues generated from the stamp would be used to benefit pheasant hunting in the state, with 75% dedicated to support the Michigan Pheasant Hunting Initiative and 25% dedicated to maintaining and expanding pheasant habitat. 

Established in 2019 by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Pheasant Hunting Initiative releases pheasants on a weekly basis at several game areas across the state during the months of October, November and December. The DNR’s Pheasant Hunting Initiative also hosted two released-pheasant youth/novice hunts, one on each of the east and west sides of the state. 

The legislature designated $260,000 in 2018 to fund the Pheasant Hunting Initiative program in 2019-2020. This program is intended to assist with recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) efforts and encourage pheasant hunting in the state. Preliminary results indicate that the program was successful. The creation of the pheasant stamp would ensure the program becomes self-funded by pheasant hunters and would not interfere with funding designated for the Pheasant Restoration Initiative, a separate and successful program that creates pheasant habitat across the state. HB 4313 passed out of the House on March 17 and is now in the Senate.   

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Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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