As part of the ongoing effort to improve the quality of pheasant hunting at the Killsnake State Wildlife Area, weekend hunting hours have been expanded, state wildlife officials said.
The pheasant hunting season opens statewide at noon Saturday, Oct. 18, and runs through Dec. 31.
Pheasant hunting at the Killsnake Wildlife Area - which lies in both Calumet and Manitowoc counties - will close at 2 p.m. daily during the week from Oct. 18 through Nov. 2 but will no longer close at 2 p.m. on weekend days, including the Saturday opener.
Also new this year: the hunting hours are the same for the entire Killsnake Wildlife Area and do not change at the county line.
This regulation, which will also be in place at 10 other state wildlife areas across the state, is designed to reduce hunting pressure on birds during the week so that sufficient opportunities exist for weekend hunters. Also, in 2013 and this year, the state has increased the number of pheasants stocked on state properties. The State Game Farm at Poynette is now raising birds at its maximum capacity.
After Nov. 2, with fewer pheasant hunters in the field, hunting hours at Killsnake revert to the standard hours as charted in the 2014 Small Game Hunting Regulations pamphlet, running from a half hour before sunrise to 20 minutes after sunset.
"Hunters asked us to expand the weekend hours," said wildlife biologist Natanya Hayden of the Department of Natural Resources. "We were happy to oblige. We are trying to provide a greater range of hunting opportunities for people."