Pheasant Hunting Techniques
Keep It Simple - as most of you know, the pheasant is one of the most popular birds in North America in terms of hunting. This multi-colored bird is considered to be a real prize by both amateur and experienced hunters. These birds are very shy and, in many cases, have a rather unexpected behavior that can confuse the hunters & the trained dogs. The pheasant knows how to use the terrain to his advantage in order to evade from the potential danger the hunters produce. Many hunters make the mistake of attempting to cover as much ground as they can in a short period of time, in other words, moving from one field to another in short periods of time. In a regular day, a pheasant can either sit tight or it might run taking in consideration the weather conditions.
Pheasants move throughout the day. Also, looking for dense or hard-to-reach covers is a good idea, as these places are the ones where pheasants might be hiding.
You could also try working on short-grass loafing areas, near crop fields. Try to be fast and ahead of everybody, as these spots are very popular among hunters. For close-range shooting, your best choices are improved-cylinder or modified-choke shotguns.
Behavior Is Crucial - the pheasant's behavior can drive a hunter crazy so why not reverse the situation? This can be done by combining the slow walking technique with the "stop and go" technique. Whether in a dense cover or an open field, these birds will get nervous when slow moving dogs and hunters pause briefly at regular intervals while trying to cover the area. In many cases this particular technique will unnerve the bird causing it to flush, when in other circumstances, the bird would have held tight. The terrain plays a major part when hunting pheasants.Take for example a pheasant that is being pursued in an open field. The bird will most likely run as fast and as far as possible as it can but if the field ends at the edge of a woodlot, ditch or road, look for the previously running pheasant to flush wild at the point where the conditions of the terrain or vegetation change. Experience hunters recommend working a field/hedgerow all the way to its end.
Check The Ditches - when a pheasant is pursued, the bird will most likely head for the bottom of the upcoming ditch, keep in mind that these birds have the ability to fly low & silently along a ditch. So the next time you are hunting near a ditch or a dry creek bottom, have your shotgun ready and prepare yourself. You can use your listening skills in order to locate birds. Cock pheasants usually come out from their hiding spots at midday/late afternoon and make loud noises that can be heard from respectable distances. Once you hear these noises, you must head towards that direction because that's where the pheasants are.
Check Banks And Shorelines - many of the hunters give up when they reach the edge of a lake or large pound resulting in many missed opportunities because many pheasants seek refuge along these places (shores, dikes of lakes, banks etc). Don't give up and work along the edge of the water and be prepared for the moment when the bird will burst out from its cover and fly along the shore or even out of the water.