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Posted by Crystal on 9/1/2016 to Training Tips
As I write this, the long awaited hunting season is about to begin. Rather than the normal dog training tips, over the next three months we are going to discuss hunting the most popular of upland game birds: the ring neck pheasant. The three segments will be as follows:
- Habits and Habitat
- How to Hunt Them
- Guns, Loads and Safety in the Field 

Habits and Habitat 
Rooster pheasants are extremely aggressive using their spurs without hesitation. When being pursued, they will push hens to flush first. They will hold to the last second before flushing. They have excellent hearing and prefer to run vs. flying. They are true sprinters. They will bury themselves in thick cover or snow, especially when wounded. They are an early riser with roosters crowing at daybreak. Roosters often cackle upon being flushed, whereas, hens do not. This can prove to be helpful when hunting in low light or when hunting into the sun. They will be in their roost areas early in the morning. Mid-morning they will head into feeding areas (crops such as corn, milo, sunflowers, etc). Mid-day you can find the loafing in cover near their feeding areas or feeding in crop fields. Late in the day they may head to roadsides to gravel, returning to their roost areas in the evening. Pheasants love to be in the corners and edges of cover that adjoins crop fields. They will roost and loaf in cover that is close to their food sources. They may be found in shelter belts, especially when weather is inclement or hot. They will congregate in low spots like ditches and draws to escape windy conditions. They love to hang around “out of the way” overgrown abandoned buildings and farm machinery.

Now is the time to do your pre-season scouting and seeking permission from landowners, not on opening day! Also, many of the farm belt states like North and South Dakota, Kansas and Nebraska publish “walk-in” hunting properties where they have leased land from landowners for public hunting. We will discuss this in detail next month. In the meantime, get yourself and your dog out and do some conditioning. Getting in shape now will help you and your dog to feel great after your first day of hunting.

See you next month when we discuss hunting tactics. For more detailed information about pheasant hunting, I encourage you to go to my web site, www.huntsmartpro.com. Check out our DVDs on “Hunting Pheasants on the High Plains” as well as “Keys to Successful Upland Bird Hunting”.

CJ & Shawnee