Pheasant Hunting Tips
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As pheasant season rapidly approaches, opening in late September or early October for most states, Jumping Target has created 10 valuable pheasant hunting tips.
1. Bird Dogs – Having a well-trained bird dog that is educated in the art of flushing birds is extremely helpful when pheasant hunting. Pheasant hunting is far different from duck hunting, as pheasants have to be “flushed” up into the air for the hunter to obtain a direct shot. Some dogs are not effective flushers, but are pointers, making it easier for hunters to spot an area where pheasants are hiding in ground cover.
2. Driving Birds – This technique causes the birds to walk in a zigzag pattern. Pheasants typically will attempt to retreat uphill. If someone does not have a bird dog, this can be effective partnership with two hunters. One can help “walk” the birds while the other is waiting at the top of a hill.
3. Hunting Near Water – Pheasants, and birds in particular, are often located near bodies of water, albeit it the ocean, ponds, lakes, irrigation canals, irrigation equipment, livestock watering containers, rivers and pump houses. In warm weather, birds always gravitate towards areas that provide water.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice – Hunting clubs often provide areas for avid hunters to practice shooting with their dogs before official hunting season opens on public lands. Hunters can take advantage of this time to refresh their dogs’ memories or further train their dogs in the art of hunting.
5. Selecting the Right Shot – There are a number of types of weapons used for bird hunting, including 20-gauge shotguns, 16-gauge, and 12-gauge. The most popular for pheasant hunting is easily the 20-gauge with a four, five or six lead shot.
6. Timing the Hunt – Pheasants are most active early in the morning and in the evenings, when they are searching for food and water.
7. Reading Pheasant Signs – Dusk is an excellent time to scout for pheasants and experienced hunters should be able to recognize pheasants’ tracks and hear their crowing. Pheasants are naturally attracted to cornfields.
8. Patience is Key – Everyday is different and a hunter may shoot a pheasant within his/her first half hour of hunting one morning, only to be shut out and not see a pheasant the following day. Patience is critical when hunting.
9. Cold Weather Hunting – Pheasants love cold weather, which is also beneficial for bird dogs. Some of the best pheasant hunting seasons typically follow a dramatic cold spell, which allows hunting dogs to pick up pheasants’ scents.
10. Regulations – Every state has different hunting regulations. Some Western states offer pheasant release hunting, which costs approximately $10 per bird. California, Oregon and Washington all participate in youth and adult wildlife pheasant hunts. Additionally, hunters typically must tag and record their catches, or they will be subject to fines.
And most importantly, most states require hunters to wear an orange hat, shirt, vest and/or jacket when pheasant hunting to avoid accidental hunter injuries.
This was a great blog. I myself am trying to get better at pheasant hunting, but I don’t have a dog to go with me. So I’ve been looking for some help on how to hunt pheasant without dog. Do you have any articles talking about that or would you be willing to share some of your knowledge with me? I found this article. Does it sound accurate to you? http://www.listinglists.com/blog/2013/11/25/10-tips-pheasant-hunting-without-dog/
SIngle shot is fine. I started with a sgnlie shot 410 when I was 7 and could get consistant doubles on the skeet range by the time I was 9. Stoeger makes a very good sgnlie shot with removable chokes which is lacking in most sgnlie shots. they are relativley inexpensive and are made well. I bought my son one last year (20 ga) and he has had no problems in the field taking game. As with any firearm, the more comfortable you get with it, the faster you will become with it, especially reloading. As far as ethics go, be the best shot you can be and choose your shots well and you won’t have a problem.