CHEYENNE— A botulism outbreak at the state Game and Fish Downer Bird Farm near Yoder has killed more than 2,700 pheasants.
Bird farm superintendent Steve Schafer says botulism is a naturally occurring disease that occurs especially during hot, dry weather.
At this time it is not known what effect the disease will have on pheasant stocking this fall for the hunting season.
Assistant Wildlife Division Chief Scott Edberg says Game and Fish will be evaluating areas and numbers of birds to be stocked once the disease outbreak ends and total losses can be determined.
Once this is completed, the agency intends to maximize pheasant releases in those walk-in areas that have suitable cover and are most often used by hunters.
The Downer Bird Farm typically produces 15,000-18,000 pheasants each year.