A major milestone in the ongoing modernization of New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Rockport Game Farm was attained this year with the completion of a state-of-the-art incubation and brooder building. The building’s energy efficient, automated systems for egg incubation and chick care replace hand-operated equipment and labor-intensive chick handling and care regimes that date back to the farm’s creation in the 1920’s. The significant energy and labor cost savings realized with the new building and equipment ensures reliable annual production of superior pheasants for the same or lower cost as for birds purchased from suppliers who may not be able to meet our annual demand consistently.
This investment in the future of the pheasant production and stocking program was funded with a Hunter and Angler Fund capital improvement account established with proceeds from the sale of a property originally purchased with Hunter and Angler funds. Likewise, no state tax dollars are used for the annual costs of raising and stocking pheasants. Those costs are borne completely by the hunters who purchase pheasant stamps and hunting licenses.
Rockport Game Farm annually produces 60,000 top-notch pheasants which hunters have come to nickname, ”Rockport Rockets” for their heart-stopping, explosive flights. Birds are stocked in November and December on 24 wildlife management areas (WMAs) throughout the state for youth hunters and hunters who buy a required Pheasant and Quail Stamp. The incredible value hunters receive for their Pheasant and Quail Stamp purchase is the topic of Director Chanda’s message.
Photo: Pat Carr/NJ Div. Fish and Wildlife