Montana anglers have their "honey holes." Maybe Montana hunters will find some fertile pheasant fields flourishing this weekend.

First, good luck to all of Montana's pheasant hunters on opening day this Saturday, October 8. And while there is probably no such thing as a sure thing, four of the state's Wildlife Management Areas are getting a boost from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

FWP tells us that just ahead of the opener, they are giving four WMAs a boost this week, releasing additional pheasants, hopefully giving you hunters increased opportunities for success. This comes on the tail feathers of the release of more pheasants in 15 Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) just before the annual youth pheasant hunt, which was held two weekends ago.

This week, birds are being released in these four Wildlife Management Areas: Warm Springs WMA near Deer Lodge, Canyon Ferry WMA and Lake Helena WMA near Helena, and at Freezout Lake WMA near Choteau. This is the first release of the year in the Warm Springs WMA. Lake Helena, Canyon Ferry and Freezout all were among the 15 WMAs that received releases prior to this year's youth hunt.

This is part of a program that was approved in August of this year by the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission, which authorized releasing up to 50,000 pheasants annually through 2026. Last year, the Montana State Legislature authorized spending $1 million dollars each year for the program.

Montana FWP says that more releases are planned on FWP lands through the general pheasant season, which runs October 8 - January 1. Releases will include both roosters and hens.

If you'd like to find out more about Montana pheasant and other upland game bird opportunities, you can check out this page of the Montana FWP site.

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