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State DNRs breeding birds for the ethically and recreationally challenged to shoot

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"The Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program makes day-old chicks available at no cost to participants who are able to provide a brooding facility, a covered outdoor rearing pen and an adequate release site," it says on its web site.

"Applicants who meet these requirements will receive the pheasant chicks in April, May or June. The pheasants can be released when they are 8 weeks old or older and no later than the end of New York's pheasant hunting season, which varies according to region. All release sites must be approved by the DEC and must be open for public hunting."

How many flocks in homemade pens perished in the recent heat wave? Or during "mail" delivery?

So, actually the IDNR/Pheasant Forever partnership is a good thing. It gets the state out of the battery bird business before undercover cameras show the overcrowded pheasants wearing goggles--to prevent pecking--or bird flu does them in. 5

And it makes the state look good.

Because hunting groups like Pheasants Forever have so mastered the art of environmentspeak, when they rhapsodize about habitat restoration, wetland conservation and outdoor recreation, it looks like the 313 new acres are for everyone.


They even include programs for women, the disabled and disadvantaged children in the outdoor fun. No doubt there's a drinking bowl for Buddy.

But before you put on your running shoes or back pack, make sure you wear you bullet proof vest. Because hunters come first in Illinois.

1 Evansville Courier & Press (IN) August 6, 2006

2 The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) September 26, 1999

3 Chicago Tribune November 17, 1996

4 The Peoria Journal Star (IL) February 23, 1992

5 Dunn County News (WI) October 12, 2005

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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative pubic health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)
 

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