HARRISBURG – PA’s ring-necked pheasant season opens this coming Saturday and the state Game Commission will be stocking about 235,000 pheasants this year. All adult hunters and some senior hunters who pursue pheasants are required to purchase a pheasant permit in addition to a general hunting license. The permit costs $26.97 and must be signed and carried while hunting pheasants. Senior lifetime resident license holders who acquired their licenses prior to May 13, 2017 are exempt from needing a pheasant permit. Junior hunters and mentored permit holders under 17 need a free permit. The Game Commission is warning about avian influenza and hunters are advised to take precautions. Harvest only healthy-looking birds; wear gloves when handling birds; wash hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately after handling wild birds; dress harvested wild birds in the field; and wash all equipment, clothing, tools, and work surfaces with soap and water and then disinfect with a 10% household bleach solution. Avian influenza can infect humans, though just one human case has been reported in the U.S. during this outbreak. Any sick or dead birds should be reported to the PA Department of Agriculture at 717-772-2852.