rooster-pheasant

Rooster Pheasant

Late Season Phesant Hunting

Sadly, the pheasant hunting season is almost over here in Colorado, only a couple of weeks remain to get out and bag some birds.  I regret that I did not get out as much as I wanted this year, but I am going to try to get out a few more times.  By now all of the birds have been pressured enough to know a few things about us hunters, so late season pheasant hunting is tough.  Here are a few tips to help you succeed.

First of all, I can’t stress enough the importance of scouting, even if it is done the day you are going to hunt.  Pheasants are most active at dawn and dusk, so you should get to your hunting area before the sun comes up.  Look for birds flying out of their roosting areas into feeding areas as the sun comes up.  This will tell you where they are feeding, and where they will be heading back to at dusk.

Another very important thing that bird hunters often overlook is being quiet.  This means from the moment you pull up to a field in your truck.  The birds know that when they hear slamming truck doors and loud voices that hunters are on their way, and they will be long gone before you even step foot in the field.  Pheasants are excellent runners and will run first rather than fly.  In addition to being quiet getting out of the truck, be quiet when you are hunting as well.  Pheasants are very nervous birds, and when they aren’t sure what is walking their way, they are more likely to stay put and try to hide.  Being loud while you are walking or yelling to your hunting partners will send the birds running.

As I mentioned in another post, finding water in a hunting area is critical, pheasants need water just like any other animal.  Pheasants will look for water after their morning feeding, so as the day wears on, look for sources of water, like a small creek drainage or a pond.

pheasants-and-water

Heading Toward a Farm Pond for Pheasant

As mentioned, by now the birds have learned a thing or two, so you need to change things up on them.  If you are hunting a public area, don’t go into the field at the same spot all the other hunters do.  When I go to a public hunting area, I will walk far around a field to enter from another side, not walk straight into the field from the parking area.  If it is an area you have hunted earlier, do the same thing and enter from a new place each time you hunt there.

The last tip is also for you to try something new.  By now the birds that have survived the hunting season are extremely wary, and they will head into the thickest cover they can find.  When you see thick brush patches, you need to check them out.  Even areas that are too thick to hunt are worth sending a hunting partner

pheasant-in-thick-brush

Thick Brush will Hold Late Season Pheasants

to walk through and hopefully chase birds out the other side where you can be waiting for a shot.

As always, be sure of your shot; don’t shoot towards any farm buildings, and be sure you have a rooster in your sights, not a hen.  Good hunting!