Pheasants released into SW Washington wildlife areas for fall hunt

first_img Follow The Columbian on Instagram A rooster pheasant is held by Vancouver Wildlife League volunteer Randy Dalton prior to release. The pheasant program provides an upland game opportunity in a part of the state with few wild birds. Photo Gallery “By the time they are out there for a while, some of the birds are not in great condition.”However, he reports that most of the birds end up getting harvested pretty quick. There is little to no hold-over.That is why the plantings are spread out over time. There are two releases a week: on Tuesday and Friday evenings, and this is done over a two-month time period.About 3,600 to 4,000 pheasants will be released over the season at Shillapoo.Two releases a week over two months makes for a lot of work for the volunteers. However, Rouzee, Dalton and the others feel it is worth the work to provide the community with a quality bird hunt close to home. Receive latest stories and local news in your email: Share: Share: 2 Photos Every year approximately 35,000 to 40,000 male and female pheasants are released at wildlife areas and other public access sites for hunters to target across Western Washington.Raising and releasing that many birds is hard work, and it is not easy. That is where the volunteer muscle, such as Rouzee and Dalton, comes in.The youth event was held by the wildlife league last Sept. 22-23. The youth hunt was followed by the senior pheasant hunt, from Sept. 24-28 for hunters over 65.The general season opened for all other hunters on Sept. 29.Rouzee and Dalton drove the truck filled with crates of pheasants across the wildlife area, and between bits of friendly banter, released a mix of rooster and hen pheasants into as many different habitats as they could. Terry Otto Columbian staff writer The birds were raised at the state game farm in Chehalis and had been trucked down here by Rouzee, who is overseeing the releases for the league this year. The two volunteers then spent about two hours spreading the birds over as much area as they could.On the morrow, the youth hunters would search for the birds and try to bag one or two.Upland opportunityDue to the cool wet climate and the lack of grain farming, naturally sustained pheasant populations are limited in Western Washington.That is why the state now offers a released pheasant hunt in selected areas of the western third of Washington. The purpose of the program is to provide upland bird hunting opportunity in an area that does not offer much in the way of wild game. By Terry Otto, Columbian staff writer Published: October 10, 2018, 9:17pm center_img The big, colorful rooster pheasant burst into the air, cackling derisively as he rose. His brilliant colors flashed in the sun, and we could see his iridescent feathers in surprising detail. He coasted along and finally went down into the cover about 200 yards in front of us.“That’s a good one,” said Randy Dalton, a volunteer with the Vancouver Wildlife League. “Someone is going to have fun with that bird tomorrow.”Julie Rouzee, his partner in the endeavor and another volunteer from the wildlife league, agreed.The pair were releasing pheasants ahead of the annual youth hunt held every year at the Shillapoo Wildlife Area, and I had come along for the ride. A total of 300 pheasants were being released ahead of the hunt. Dalton and Rouzee are ardent upland bird hunters themselves, and they discussed the quality of the birds as they flew off. Both commented on the size and flying ability of the state-farm-raised birds.“For the last two years they have been in great condition,” Rouzee said. “They fly great and they are cacklers. They are a lot of fun to hunt.”Chris White of the WDFW manages the game farm in Chehalis, and he reports that while the birds are fat and strong when released, they may not stay that way if they are on the wildlife area for any length of time.“The majority of the birds are in great shape when they are released,” he said, “but it takes time for them to find food and get used to the area. They need to find food and water.” As the last of the birds settled into the covers, the setting sun turned the western sky into gold and orange. Rouzee and Dalton strapped down the empty crates and gathered their gear. The state truck still needed to be driven back to Chehalis, where it would be loaded for the next run.The program is very popular, and Saturdays and Wednesdays are usually crowded. Hunters can avoid the crowds by hunting on other days, or waiting until the afternoon, when many hunters have left.Regulations: A Western Washington pheasant license is required to hunt pheasants in the region. A small game license is not required. The Western Washington pheasant license costs $84.50 for adults and $40.50 for youth (under 16). A three-day permit is also offered for $40.50 for residents.The bag limit is two pheasants of either sex per day.Steel shot is required for all hunting on the Shillapoo Wildlife Area. Hunter orange is required when hunting the release sites. Hunting is allowed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day of the season, which runs until Nov.30.For more information: Call the WDFW Wildlife Program at (360) 902-2515. Or, go to the website for information and maps of the release sites: Follow The brightly-colored roosters and the plain, brownish hens were incredible flyers for being raised at a game farm. Many of them flew strongly for long distances before settling in to the cover.The release was planned for the last hours of daylight for a couple reasons. If it is almost dusk the birds will settle in quickly where they are released, instead of roaming off the public land to nearby private lands.Also, the longer they are out there they are vulnerable to natural predators such as coyotes and hawks.Predation is an issue. “We figure we lose about 10 percent of the pheasants to predators,” said Dalton. GO [email protected] By signing up you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Pheasants released into SW Washington wildlife areas for fall huntlast_img read more

Heavy lifting required to fill looming BC labour shortage

Heavy lifting required to fill looming B.C. labour shortage AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email VANCOUVER – Shipbuilding contracts, new liquefied natural gas plants and a booming mining sector are being hailed for keeping British Columbia afloat as worldwide economies falter, but they bring along a topsy-turvy problem.Jobs are expected to abound here in the next decade, but there won’t be enough trained workers to fill them.Recognizing a looming labour shortage in industries from construction to natural resources, the provincial government has embarked on a mission to make blue-collar work more attractive.Those in the field say the B.C. Liberals’ plan is just the start of the heavy lifting needed to build up the necessary manpower.“There’s no silver bullet to solving the skills shortage, because the demographic issue that we’re all facing … has been creeping up on us and you can’t produce more kids overnight,” said Philip Hochstein, president of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C., which represents 85 per cent of construction work done in the province.“The government’s job is really to set the foundation — having the schooling in place, make sure the technology is current and up to date, and then they should just get out of the way and let the industry do what it does best.”The government is projecting that among the one million job openings expected by 2020, 43 per cent will require skilled workers. It predicts there will be a gap of 22,000 to 32,000 people in northern B.C. alone.According to government figures, between 2010 and 2020, the province will require 435,490 technical or skilled workers with a college or trade certificate. That compares to a need for 364,070 professional workers with a university education.Just under 200,000 workers with a high school diploma will be needed while those without a high school education will find just over 34,000 job openings.More than a year after the B.C. Liberals unveiled their provincial jobs plan, the premier followed up earlier this month with an additional plan to develop the requisite skills and training to fill the positions.The range includes heavy-duty equipment technicians, carpenters, commercial transport mechanics, cooks, construction workers, electricians, metal fabricators, industrial mechanics, plumbers and sheet metal workers.The training strategy strongly emphasizes promoting careers in the trades, with a goal of boosting the number of high school graduates going into technical programs — instead of universities — by 50 per cent, among other initiatives.Premier Christy Clark said the plan represents a “fundamental change” to how young people are prepared for entering the workforce, though only $75 million has been unveiled as part of this year’s overall $1.9 billion advanced education budget.The cash will be used to renovate facilities at both Okanagan College in Kelowna and Camosun College in Victoria, as well as fund upgrades to trades-related equipment at several other institutions.It does not represent any new investment, with some of the funds shifting from other spending areas within the education budget.More so, the plan revolves around shifting traditional thinking about what professions should be valued by society, said Advanced Education Minister John Yap.“The shift is this: We need to promote the trades, and where there may have been a view that perhaps a career in trades is not desirable — that couldn’t be further from the truth,” Yap said.“We’re saying to families you should think about this, our youth should consider the trades as an option for a rewarding career, where they can get well-paying jobs that can meet the needs of communities around B.C.”Government figures state that currently, research intensive universities receive 55 per cent of all taxpayer-funded operating money, while colleges and institutes receive about 28 per cent.The Liberals’ plan also includes creating more opportunities for apprenticeships, introducing 15 new jobs coaches, speeding up the certification process and recruiting more foreign temporary workers, among others.The official opposition calls the Liberals’ plan an “afterthought” in a crucial jobs plan.NDP skills training critic Gwen O’Mahoney contends the government should focus on making trades training affordable and should put greater efforts into boosting apprenticeship completion rates.B.C. joins several other provinces whose economies depend on skilled labour, such as oil and agriculture-reliant Alberta and Saskatchewan, with its forests, mines and potash, said Douglas Watt, a research director at the Conference Board of Canada.“The training that’s going on, investment is both longer term and shorter term (in) vision,” he said. “Most provinces are doing similar efforts to what B.C. is doing.”That includes tapping into under-utilized groups in society such as immigrants, aboriginal people, women and people with disabilities, he said.Some of the province’s top research universities say they’re lending a hand too, adapting programs so graduates are more employable, said Jon Driver, vice-president academic at Simon Fraser University.“I don’t see this as being a threat in any way to other areas or components of the post-secondary system,” he said.The challenge lies not only in filling the current knowledge gaps but ensuring workers have leading-edge skills as companies constantly innovate their methods.“We’ve always placed a premium on doctor, dentist, lawyer … but rarely does somebody wake up and say, ‘You know son? I’d really like you to learn how to weld aluminum,’” said Greg D’Avignon, president of the Business Council of B.C.He said governments seem to have awakened to the new requirements of the labour force starting with the 2008 global recession.“You don’t change that unless you start to really focus on programs and opportunities and expose kids to it.” by News Staff Posted Sep 30, 2012 4:00 am MDT read more