posted on July 15, 2013 18:48
This one is a unique story from out in Oregon. The state is turning a bad situation into one that is positive for hunters and for another select portion of the population.
Pheasant chicks are sent to the Oregon Correctional Center each spring where the inmates care for the birds throughout the spring and into the summer. There are nets set up outside the center where the inmates are responsible for everything from mending the nets and fences to feeding and caring for the birds.
This summer there will be over 5,000 chicks sent to the facility. That’s a large number for any facility to care for, but the inmates are already proving to be a valuable asset to the community as they take great care of the birds.
When the fall season comes the birds are shipped out to Wisconsin in time for the pheasant hunting season there. They are released to public lands where any hunter has the chance to take the birds. Local hikers and outdoor enthusiasts can also take to the public land to watch the wildlife including the healthy birds that will be released.
The program gives the inmates a chance to learn skills while keeping costs down for raising the birds. Instead of not being able to do anything the inmates learn skills and are paid 42 cents per hour for the work.
The goal of the correctional program is to rehabilitate inmates and giving them a skill such as caring for pheasants seems like a great solution. It’s also helpful for the various states that benefit from the bird releases each year.
It will be interesting to see if more programs like this pop up across more states. It would be positive for the hunting community if they do.