Approximately 30,000 adult pheasants will be released on lands open to public hunting for the upcoming fall pheasant hunting season, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced.

The pheasant hunting season begins on October 1 in northern and eastern portions of New York, October 18 in central and western portions, and November 1 on Long Island.

"The Day-old Pheasant Chick Program provides additional opportunities for pheasant hunters," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens.

"Pheasant hunting opportunities have also been augmented by private landowners who have opened their land to public hunting. DEC is grateful for their help in providing a high-quality hunting experience for New York's sportsmen and sportswomen."

Since 2007, DEC has offered a special youth-only season to provide junior hunters (12-15 years old) the opportunity to hunt pheasants the weekend prior to the regular pheasant hunting season.

In western New York, the youth pheasant hunt weekend is October 11-12. In northern and eastern New York, the youth pheasant hunt weekend is September 27-28, and on Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk counties) it is October 25-26.

Pheasants will be released on a number of selected release sites across the state to provide ample hunting opportunities for junior hunters. All current pheasant hunting rules and regulations remain in effect during the youth hunt.

Please note that due to new legislation that changed the start of the license year from October 1 to September 1, either a 2013-14 hunting license or a 2014-15 hunting license can be used to hunt during September this year. A 2014-15 license is required starting October 1.

A list of statewide pheasant release sites and sites receiving birds for the youth-only pheasant hunt weekends can be found at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9349.html.