CHOOSING A HUNTING LOCATION
- Get A Map
- Examine Covertypes and Surrounding Land
- Other Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hunting Location: Weather Conditions, Hunting Party Size, and Popularity
Hunting Party Size:Consider the size of the land you are hunting and whether or not you have enough hunters to adequately cover it. If you are hunting alone, you may want to concentrate on areas with small sloughs or river bottoms.
Popularity: Some hunting lands are extremely overrun with hunters. Some are crowed because they are close to a city, and some are crowed because they have the qualities of a good pheasant spot. I personally do better by avoiding these places. If you choose to hunt a popular spot, focus on those areas of the land that may be avoided by other hunters. Examples are areas that require extra energy to hunt (extremely thick cover) or areas more remote from the likely parking spot.
PHEASANT HUNTING EQUIPMENT
- Comfortable, weather appropriate clothing
- "Brush proof" pants
- Blaze orange vest and hat
- Waterproof, high quality hunting boots
- Shotgun with a modified choke tube
- Shotgun Shells (I suggest no lower than 4, no higher than 6)
GENERAL HUNTING STRATEGIES
Walking the Cover
- A major error I see from new hunters is the tendency to walk too fast when hunting pheasants. If you walk too fast, you will likely walk by several pheasants that are hiding and hoping you will walk right on by. Walking slowly also gives your dog(s) enough time to fully work all the ground for scent.
- Starting on one end of the cover, spread your hunters about 20-30 yards apart (the thicker the cover, the closer together). Typically, your aim is to push the pheasants toward a natural break in the cover such as a bare/picked field or a body of water. Roosters that are running ahead of you are more apt to fly once their cover ends. Generally, the best method is to walk in a zig zag pattern to help prevent pheasants from slipping through the space. If you are walking something that requires walking in a straight line, 20-30 feet between hunters is more appropriate.
- If there isn't a natural break in the cover, start where the cover is the lightest and work toward the thickest cover. Then work the thick cover very slowly and thoroughly. Those pheasants already in the thick cover will likely stay there to hide, and you may have pushed a few pheasants from the lighter cover into hiding in the thick stuff.
Using A Dog
- Try to hunt into the wind when using a dog, this will give them an advantage in finding the birds.
- Train your dog well, a dog that runs 100 yards ahead of you chasing a pheasant isn't helpful, and you may find your hunting partners become very annoyed at this.
- I recommend buying a vest specifically designed for protecting your dog's underbelly. Thorns and rough cover can tear their bellies up, and the blaze orange can help you see your dog better in the field.