The most pheasants I ever saw were near an Indiana Department of Natural Resources-managed lease.
The wild, Benton County birds flushed by the dozens a half-dozen different times from private property and sailed straight for a nearby swath of set-aside land.
Someday, such a scene could take place just minutes from Michigan City at the new Reynolds Creek property.
Last December, Gov. Mitch Daniels ordered the sprawling, 1,250-acre state prison farm in northeast Porter County turned over to the DNR.
“This is our first big opportunity to expand our upland game preserves and to bring our large-scale conservation program to this part of the state,” Daniels said in a e-mail release
Ron Lorman, property manager at Kingsbury Fish & Wildlife Area, will be in charge of developing Reynolds Creek, which is about 95 percent farmed land at the moment.
“Right now, the property is closed until we get signage up,” Lorman said.
“It will be multi-use, eventually, with bird watching and hiking, but the emphasis will be on restoring grassland habitat which benefits all wildlife, but especially pheasant and quail.”
Ringnecked pheasant were raised on the site for put-and-take hunting at various Fish & Wildlife Areas decades ago. And the areas surrounding the prison farm were one of the last strongholds of pheasant in this part of the state.