Many thanks to all who have posted comments and perspectives about Ring-necked Pheasants. Because they are listed among the FunRun birds, I did record my sighting there.
Yesterday, there was a female with the male, and both were loose and on their own, not caged or in a zoo. If those who released some birds gave us exact numbers, and the specific region of release, then, when hunting season was over, those same people reported on how many were killed by hunters, we'd be in a better position to judge whether unkilled pheasants survived. If some survive, no one can say that one seen a year from now, or two years from now, could not possibly be a bird successfully living on its own in the wild.
We lived across the street from a small cemetery on Route 4 near HVCC in 1971 and saw Ring-necked Pheasants there on many days. About 10 years ago we saw one on a side road up from the east side of the Tomhannock Reservoir.
If this were a sanctioned contest, a Breeding Bird Survey, or some other highly significant counting activity, perhaps the situation would be different. But it's just me. I saw the male and female birds together in the wild, I was thrilled to see them, I loved the good photo I got, and I'm adding it to my lists of birds seen.
Thanks again for all your thoughtful and important insights and comments. I really have appreciated every one of them. Stay well!