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Fish and Game looks to Success for future pheasant hunts

August 04, 2010

SUCCESS — The Department of Fish and Game will add a site in Success to the list of places they release pheasants for hunters this fall.

The department lost a site in Millsfield, said Conservation Officer Doug Gralenski. "I'd like to repair the damage in Success."

According to the Fish and Game website, the state has 74 stocking sites in 50 towns around the state. But the number of sites in the North Country are dwindling, Officer Gralenski said, from nine down to five. The Millsfield closure will make it four.

He's been working with the Dillon's, who own most of the land in Success, and last week he secured permission from the Androscoggin Valley Regional Refuse Disposal District to use land they own that's protected by conservation easements.

"The Success area has lots to offer, with long term thoughts in line," he said.

The department releases 13,500 birds each year. Officer Gralenski estimated they would release between 150 and 200 birds at the Success site. They stock sites during the last week of September, and then several times again as the season goes on.

Pheasant season in New Hampshire is from October 1 to December 31.

"In reality it's just a put and take program," he said, with hunters killing all the birds. He is hoping to engage some of the local sport clubs in the operation, he said.

The site will provide a consistent spot, he said, unlike many other sites where landowners have to bear the impact of hunters. The 200 to 300 acre site will be away from houses, roads and most other users, he said, and not impact the nearby landfill. Clearcuts make ideal habitat for the birds, he said, of which Success has plenty.

It will give hunters another place to go, he said, where they can count on birds year to year.

Combined with two sites along the East Milan Road in Milan, this could create a small boost in the local economy each fall, he said, although he emphasized it would be modest.

The department is not looking to make any habitat improvements this year, he said, although that is something they would like to do in the future. That would be a place where they would get the local sporting clubs involved, he said.

The department has to find state and private land open to stocking, he said, because federal lands won't allow stocking non-native species, and pheasants are native to China.

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