Although rumors of this have been circulating for some time, they were put to rest this past week when the DEC announced it had verbally been told by the State administration to close their last remaining pheasant rearing facility, Reynolds Game Farm, located near Ithaca. The closing is reportedly part of the major budget cutting measures being implemented by the State. The anticipated fiscal year savings created by the closure would be about $708K.
On average. Reynolds has been annually raising 25,000 adult pheasants, 15,000 young pheasants, and t least 60,000 day-old chicks. All were to be eventually released on public accessible lands. A few years ago, New York had two pheasant rearing facilities, but , again, budget restraints forced one to close, and Reynolds became the lone public facility in the state. Now even it will probably cease operating.
The Reynolds Farm has been in operation since 1927, and as previously stated, since 1999 has been the sole facility supporting the statewide pheasant program. The DEC is attempting to identify viable alternatives for orderly execution of the directive, though the short notice and lateness of the season will make this a very difficult task. It is also trying to match staff reassignments up as best it can with the Reynolds staff’s interests and Division needs.