Director’s Message

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Director Chanda photo.jpgMost hunters and anglers are feeling the pinch of annually increasing costs for equipment, ammunition, bait, fuel, food, lodging, club dues and private property access fees. Many of us would be hard-pressed to name anything that is the same price today as it was ten years ago. Perhaps it’s simply because there are very few things that have not increased in cost, but it may also be that we sometimes take for granted the few things that have not. 

A few things that have not increased in price since the year 2000 are New Jersey hunting and fishing licenses, permits and stamps. Consequently, license, permit and stamp value, or—what you get for what you pay—increases each year that the price remains the same. One of the most striking examples of that value increase is evident when comparing what you get for what you pay with a Pheasant and Quail Stamp versus pheasant hunting on a private preserve.

The price for an unguided pheasant hunt on a New Jersey hunting preserve is about $150 per hunter for a three- to four-hour hunt. Most preserve hunts have a four pheasant limit for that $150 hunt. That equates to more than $35 per pheasant for a three to four hour hunting opportunity. The Pheasant and Quail Stamp fee of $40 is slightly more than the cost of taking one pheasant on a private preserve. However, that $40 fee provides unlimited opportunity to hunt pheasants for nearly eight weeks on 24 statewide wildlife management areas and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. About 60,000 pheasants are stocked on those properties and each area is stocked 12 to 17 times during that eight-week period. The stocking dates and numbers of pheasants stocked on each area are posted on our Web site before the season even begins.

New Jersey Pheasant and Quail Stamp buyers who already know the stamp’s incredible value will be pleased to know major improvements at Fish and Wildlife’s Rockport Game Farm will help ensure the future of the program and a reliable supply of top-notch pheasants. See the new incubation and brooder house constructed at Rockport. This new building, with its state-of-the-art automated systems for incubation and chick care, will significantly reduce the energy and labor costs of pheasant production and at the same time, maintain—and likely improve—the quality of the already outstanding “Rockport Rockets” raised at the Farm.

Hunters who feel they have been priced out of pheasant hunting in New Jersey have an extremely affordable option with the Pheasant and Quail Stamp to enjoy many weeks of hunting high-quality pheasants on thousands of acres spread across the state. Give it a try and get in on one of the best remaining hunting values in New Jersey.

Dave Chanda is the Director of the Division of Fish & Wildlife.

 


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