Thursday, December 18, 2008
New York Sportsmen are furious that Gov. Paterson is giving away pheasants that they, the sportsmen, paid for!!!
From the New York State Conservation Council:
I would like to set the record straight about the pheasant program in New York State. Sportsmen’s dollars from the sale of hunting licenses, along with Federal reimbursements for taxes paid on hunting equipment, have paid for raising and releasing pheasants. These pheasants have generated many millions of dollars each year to New York State’s economy, and many youth have learned a great deal about wildlife from raising pheasants in the day-old chick program. According to DEC's Small Game Hunter Survey for 2006-07 approximately 60,000 hunters harvested 130,000 pheasants statewide, while spending 262,000 days afield. Also according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, small game hunters spent approximately $600 per person per year on trip and equipment related expenses. Then add to that many pheasant hunters also raise one or two dogs to hunt with; these hunters each contribute several hundred to a couple of thousand dollars to the local and State economies each year in their pursuit of the birds. If $600 is spent per pheasant hunter, that adds up to $36 million each year. In the 2006/2007 hunting license year, 552,134 resident and non-resident sportsmen and women bought hunting licenses that would allow them to hunt pheasants in New York State. A resident small game license costs $16 and a non-resident license costs $55. The state receives over $9 million each year from the licenses these hunters purchase to have the opportunity to hunt small game which includes pheasants.
What amount will be saved by closing the pheasant farm? Not the $750,000 that Governor Paterson has stated. The largest expense incurred in raising the birds is the cost of staff and fringe benefits. No staff will be laid off - they will just be moved to other jobs. Feed for the breeder birds was ordered through March; will the State have to pay for it? Maybe $350,000 of the sportsmen’s money will be saved to use for something else; but how much will be lost in revenue because of the loss of the program? These 9,000-plus breeder pheasants had their wings clipped to prevent them from flying so that they could be kept in a pen with no netting over the top. While it would be unethical to turn them loose now, when spring comes they would have new flight feathers and could be released. All birds that are released in the wild for hunting have not had their wings clipped and are able to fly. Only 8,000 will be slaughtered and processed to be given to the needy; the remainder are going to game bird breeders. Where is the money coming from for the processing of these pheasants? Pheasants survive and adjust to the wild and reproduce in many parts of New York State where habitat is adequate. The closing of the pheasant farm appears to be motivated by some other agenda than to save money. Could it be that someone wants to purchase the farm; and by shutting down a money making operation now they can do just that.