Public Land Pheasant Hunting In Utah
Believe it or not, Utah was once a destination state for pheasant hunters. High numbers of ringnecks and the opportunity to add some quail to the bag was too much for many hunters to pass up. Bumper crops of birds became a thing of the past when habitat started disappearing. Utah pheasant hunting isn’t what it used to be, but it is still a great place to chase upland birds. Like just about anywhere else, finding the birds comes down to finding good habitat.
Most of the state’s best pheasant hunting spots are in the central and northern regions. The Wasatch-Cache National Forest and surrounding areas could be the best bet. Marsh edges along the Great Salt Lake and Utah Lake are prime spots. Places like Willard Bay Upland WMA and Ogden Bay WMA are prime territory for upland game hunters. Again, the opportunity for a mixed bag is great here as well. Pheasant hunters often jump loafing ducks.
Wildlife Management Areas are hotspots for pheasant hunters looking to score on public land. WMAs with quality habitat have naturally reproducing birds already present. Many of them are also stocked before the season starts. Good spots along the Wasatch front include Wildlife Management Areas in Box Elder County, along the Bear River and near Cutler Marsh in Cache County, and in Western Weber County. WMAs in the Nephi area are also prime locations for pheasants. In Northeast Utah, check walk-in areas and WMAs in Uintah and Duchesne Counties. Book Cliffs, Mallard Springs, and Montes Creek WMAs offer good pheasant hunting.
Interstate 70 is the unofficial boundary for pheasant territory in Utah. Good ringneck habitat is scarce south of I-70. The WMAs around Richfield in Sevier County offer hunters in this area decent prospects for a successful hunt. Creek bottoms and fencerows are the best spots to work. Areas around Huntington & Cleveland are also good places to find birds in Central Utah. The Huntington WMA is a well known pheasant hunting hotspot.
Utah’s Walk-In Access Program is still in it’s infancy. However, thousands of acres of private land are open for public hunting. Click here to view the properties included in the program. You can do a good bit of scouting from your computer. Most of the property listings describe the habitat and game that can be found there.