I know I'm in the minority in the way I feel but to be honest, I think the pheasant hunting community as a whole has fallen into the "suitable habitat" trap. Ringnecks are capable of inhabiting a wide variety of landscape and habitat. Some are much more suitable than others, but there seems to be this mentality that if it's not S.D. there can't be pheasants. I just haven't found that to be true. Three of my best places for wild birds started out by the releasing of pen raised birds. The owner of one property raised and released the birds back in the '60s when he was a teenager. My best property was stocked with MacPharlane birds back in the '80s. Another property had the birds released onto it by a neighbor that used to raise them. None of those properties is what you would consider "ideal habitat", but the birds are there, in large numbers, and have been for many years.
Granted, if you just start releasing pen-raised birds all over the place, very few will survive. In that sense, transplanted birds would offer a much higher survival rate. I just don't think alot of states are putting forth the effort. Here in Indiana, the state has made very little effort to boost the pheasant population. You hear the same excuses, "the habitat is not suitable", "the birds won't survive". Hey, it's working for the people that try. Don't tell me that it can't be done. I have seen too many places where it's been done. If you have the food, and the cover and put forth the effort you can have birds in Vermont. There are still areas with large numbers of pheasants in Washington, Oregon, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Not necessarily slouch states when it comes to snow and cold.