Game And Fish And Others Save 12,000 Pheasants From Drowning
Friday, June 5, 2015 was a memorable day for Sheridan Bird Farm employees and supporters of pheasant hunting in northern Wyoming. A cloud burst dumped nearly four inches of rain and four to five inches of hail in a short period of time in the area south of Sheridan. That’s where one of the two Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s bird farms is located.
The rain flooded several brooder houses and 12,000 pheasant chicks were standing in water up to their bellies. The water and sawdust that is used for bedding had to be manually scooped out of the brooder houses. The cleanup had to be carefully executed to prevent loss of pheasants or injury to the scared chicks that are just a few weeks old and cannot be placed outdoors, especially during storms.
In addition to the brooder houses, the assistant’s residence, most of the shop and storage buildings containing critical equipment and staff office were flooded with several inches of rain according to Bird Farm Supervisor Darrell Meineke.
“The amount of rain and hail we received was incredible, but the one thing that was even more incredible was the response we got from area people volunteering their time. I called Pheasants Forever committee member T. J. Rogers and told him we needed help. Soon several members of Pheasants Forever were here to help us get the brooder houses cleaned out,”
When the word got out about the dilemma at the bird farm, numerous other area pheasant hunters called to offer help.
“The response we received during this event was absolutely phenomenal. I just can’t thank these people enough. The Sheridan/Johnson County Pheasants Forever Chapter, the Farmers Co-op, pheasant hunters and everybody else that helped or offered help, are a great bunch of people. It really shows the support the Sheridan Bird Farm has in this area.”
In 2014, Game and Fish released more than 32,000 pheasants from the game bird farms. Game and Fish has been operating bird farms since the 1930s. There are two employees working year round at each of the bird farms. Pheasants are stocked periodically during the pheasant season on Game and Fish Wildlife Habitat Management Areas, Walk-in Areas and certain state lands where public pheasant hunting access is available