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Four Pheasant Hunting Tips For More Successful Hunts

12/15/2012
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By Chris Larsen

Flushing Pheasant

I’ve had the pleasure of fishing with a handful of championship caliber tournament anglers.  What does that have to do with pheasant hunting?  One thing I’ve noticed about these fisherman compared to the average angler is attention to detail.  They do all the little things right.  They pay attention to details that most anglers don’t even think about.  Picking up on the little things and working smarter than the average hunter can give you a serious edge on your next hunt.  

Shoot To Kill

This seems like a no brainer but you would be surprised at how many pheasant hunters don’t shoot regularly.  Shooting trap, skeet, or sporting clays will keep you sharp and build muscle memory.  Think about how much money and time goes into training dogs, scouting, and getting to a hunt.  Investing time and effort into shooting well is a good way to put more birds in the game bag.  If you kill every bird you flush, only three flushes are needed to limit out in most states.  If you only kill half the birds you flush, six flushes are needed. 

Be The Bird

Knowing what pheasants are doing throughout the day is a big part of successful pheasant hunting.  It doesn’t matter if you’re on public land, a family plot, or at a pheasant hunting lodge, pheasants are going to be in deep cover by the afternoon.  Hunting open grain fields isn’t going to be productive.  Pheasants feed in the morning and then move to cover.  This is especially true as hunting pressure increases.  

Go Out of The Way

Think about what cover is most likely to hold pheasants.  Easy to access cover is usually hunted heavily.  Trade in your chaps for hip waders for a day and you’ll likely run into some excellent pheasant hunting.  Most hunters don’t like to cross water to get to birds but ringnecks have no problem flying over water.  Hunting small pockets of cover can be very effective as well.  Many hunters will overlook the small spots as they pursue birds in the most obvious places.  Not every little piece of cover will have a pheasant in it but if you hit enough of them this tactic will pay off.  

Hunt The Off Days

I worked the night shift as a young, single man.  This gave me five mornings a week to hunt as much as I wanted.  Hunting the weekends is tough business.  You’re working around other hunters and pheasants are on high alert.  Early in the weekend birds are still skittish but by midweek and the end of the work week, ringnecks are back to their normal routine.  

Pheasants live their entire lives in the same general area.  They move from place to place based on two factors, food and hunting pressure.  If you can take advantage of food and hunting pressure, you will put more roosters in your hunting vest this season.  

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