It is that time of year again! Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cattaraugus County is now taking orders for the annual Ring-Necked Pheasant Raise and Release Program. Cattaraugus County has one of the biggest deliveries of pheasant chicks every year. In 2017, we were able to distribute over 500 chicks to local 4-H families and volunteers who then raised and released them back into the wild.

Pheasant hunting has a long tradition as one of the most popular small game hunting activities in New York. DEC’s Small Game Hunter Survey indicates that about 23,000 hunters harvest over 50,000 pheasants statewide, while spending almost 106,000 days afield annually. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, small games hunters spent approximately $600 per person per year on trip and equipment-related expenses in 2006, contributing millions of dollars to the state economy.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m. at the CCE Office in Ellicottville—28 Parkside Dr. Ellicottville, NY 14731—to come out and learn all about the project! The pheasants are free; your financial responsibilities include providing feed and adequate shelter for the birds until their release. Come out and ask questions to those who have been doing it for years and see what works and does not work for them. RSVP for this event by calling (716) 699-2377 ext. 130 or emailing We look forward to seeing you there!

Cattaraugus County 4-H is always looking for new members and volunteers to be a part of our great program. 4-H is open to youth ages 5-18 as of Jan. 1. There is always room for growth and we are excited to see what the New Year brings our way!