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Hi everyone, sorry for being a bit green to hunting so excuse what is probably a silly question but if someone can answer that would be great. I understand that the last stocking day in NJ for pheasants was on 12/31 but the pheasant season runs until February. Is it worth still going out after the last stocking day? Question is geared towards public WMA's as the only successful pheasant hunting I have done so far is on commercial preserves.

Little background: The few times I had gone out to Black River and Pequest on a stocking day was way too crowded and being by myself and new to the sport didn't help. I heard shots being fired over me and I quickly left the scene and was turned off by all the noise from other hunters yelling at their dogs, dogs running around with the bells ringing and just the amount of people out there. Sounded like I was at a Civic war re-enactment with all the massive gunfire in the first 20 minutes or so. I was under the impression when you go pheasant hunting you should be quiet but what do I know? Makes me want to go squirrel and rabbit hunting instead so I can avoid the crowds and just be in the woods by myself or with at least one buddy.

So, anyway...just want to keep trying and not give up but also wondering if I'd be wasting time going to a WMA this month or in Feb for pheasants.

Thank you for your responses and again sorry if some of this sounds ridiculous.
 

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It will be more peaceful for sure. I have people flat out steal a bird i cleaning shot right in front of me. I do not care but people get crazy. I told my buddies out loud if he needs a bird that bad its his. Anyhow i completely agree with you I do not go to Black river on stocking days or Saturdays its flat out dangerous. Goon a week day and its always tough if you do not have a dog but stick wh it and you will find a few hiding
 

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I have always hunted on the "off" days as well as rainy or snowy days. If you are truly a hunter and not part of the usual "put and Take" crowd, you will get birds. Like anything in life, the ones you work the hardest for are the most memorable.
 

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Go buy some chukars, take them to your favorite WMA, and set the birds. Bring the crate back to the car get dressed and have at it. Try to find and flush the birds. Chukars will generally sit tight and once flushed if you miss them they don't fly far, so you can try to find them once they land. A fun way to spend the day. Won't be too many leftover pheasants to hunt in most stocking areas. Just remember to get a receipt and follow the regulations including bag limits. PM me if you have any questions or need info on where you can purchase birds. Good luck.
 

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Welcome to the site!
Crowds on stocking days are definitely something that you would have to deal with. Get right in the midddle of things, hang out on the fringes or wait until later in the day are some options.
There are always a couple of birds left after stocking is over. Best is when there’s snow so you can find tracks to follow.
 

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I've been hunting Black River for over 35 years. It is always crowded on stock days but nothing like years ago with 3 lanes of cars in the lot some spilling out to the street etc. You can still do well and stay safe. Let the shoot them on the ground or out of the tree hunters take there shared then slide around or bye them. The amount of birds has dropped in recent years do to computer geeks at the state screwing with stocking numbers for north and south WMA's. Try the Federal lands out along the Delaware a lot of room and big open fields. Stay with it and stay safe.
 

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I've been hunting Black River for over 35 years. It is always crowded on stock days but nothing like years ago with 3 lanes of cars in the lot some spilling out to the street etc. You can still do well and stay safe. Let the shoot them on the ground or out of the tree hunters take there shared then slide around or bye them. The amount of birds has dropped in recent years do to computer geeks at the state screwing with stocking numbers for north and south WMA's. Try the Federal lands out along the Delaware a lot of room and big open fields. Stay with it and stay safe.
They have cut way back stocking on the river too, only a couple of areas get birds now.
 

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Hi everyone, sorry for being a bit green to hunting so excuse what is probably a silly question but if someone can answer that would be great. I understand that the last stocking day in NJ for pheasants was on 12/31 but the pheasant season runs until February. Is it worth still going out after the last stocking day? Question is geared towards public WMA's as the only successful pheasant hunting I have done so far is on commercial preserves.

Little background: The few times I had gone out to Black River and Pequest on a stocking day was way too crowded and being by myself and new to the sport didn't help. I heard shots being fired over me and I quickly left the scene and was turned off by all the noise from other hunters yelling at their dogs, dogs running around with the bells ringing and just the amount of people out there. Sounded like I was at a Civic war re-enactment with all the massive gunfire in the first 20 minutes or so. I was under the impression when you go pheasant hunting you should be quiet but what do I know? Makes me want to go squirrel and rabbit hunting instead so bitlife can avoid the crowds and just be in the woods by myself or with at least one buddy.

So, anyway...just want to keep trying and not give up but also wondering if I'd be wasting time going to a WMA this month or in Feb for pheasants.

Thank you for your responses and again sorry if some of this sounds ridiculous.
It is generally considered that hunting for pheasants after the last stocking day can be less productive, as the birds that were stocked have likely dispersed or been hunted. However, it is still possible to find wild pheasants on public hunting areas, especially if they have good habitat and cover.
 
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