Pheasant hunting is all about the flush and the rush of adrenaline as you hear the call, “Rooster!” The cackle of the birds, the points and flushes of the dogs, the tail feathers rising up off the ground – all are great reasons to grab friends and get them out on the prairie to chase pheasants. Pheasant hunting is a tradition and it is best spent with friends of all ages. Here are some tips from some folks who live and breath pheasants and pheasant conservation every day.
Always Follow the Dog. Always!
It’s the first rule of bird hunting. The dog’s nose knows more than your brain. Doesn’t matter how smart you are, the dog’s nose is better than any hunter’s brain at the mathematics, physics and biology of locating a pheasant on the run, a covey of quail, or a secretive ruffed grouse. Further, this nugget is good advice any time of the season, but especially important to consider when hunting with a new group of people. I greatly prefer to hunt in small groups of one, two or three guys behind a couple of good bird dogs, rather than in a death-march line of ten. The biggest reason for my preference to hunt in a small group is the ability to follow the dogs wherever they lead. They can put you on birds in places you never would have walked naturally in a marching line of ten. Bob St.Pierre, Vice President of Marketing Pheasants Forever, Inc. and Quail Forever
Don’t Start from the Parking Lot
As a predominately public land hunter, I know I’m never the first person to walk a property in hopes of finding ringnecks – and the birds know I’m not the first person either! If you were to set up a trail camera at the parking area of most public upland hunting areas, you’d see group after group pull up, hop out, and walk nearly the same loop through the property, depending on prevailing winds. This leaves pockets of undisturbed habitat that could be holding the big rooster you’ve been hoping for. Simply put, don’t fall into the same old trap. Park – or at least start your hunt – at a more unconventional spot and play the wind. If you’re lucky enough you might just hit the jackpot that everyone else has missed out on. ANDREW VAVRA, Director of Marketing Pheasants Forever, Inc. and Quail Forever
Hunt Late Season
There are so many advantages to hunting the late season that it is almost hard to comprehend! Here are just a few:
- You avoid the crowds
- The crops are out and birds are concentrated
- Landowners are more willing to allow hunters on their property
- Better weather conditions for dog work
Don’t be afraid to brave a little cold. Dress in layers and embrace the late season! Your dog will thank you. Brad Heidel, Director of Corporate Relations Pheasants Forever, Inc. and Quail Forever
Read more Pheasant hunting tips here.
By Kevin Paulson – HuntingLife.com