Five Pheasant Hunting Tips

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By HSP Member, Brian

There is good news and bad news for pheasant hunters. The downward cycle of the population is starting to turn around. This is the good news. The bad news is, a hunter is going to work and work hard to get a limit of birds. Veteran pheasant guide and upland bird hunter Kelly Bryan of Big Springs Hunting Preserve near Montezuma Iowa, which is operated by Brownells, Inc. recommends these tips to bag your limit of Ringneck Pheasants:

1. Sharpen your shooting skills

"Spend time at your local gun range honing your shooting skills before you go to the field," says Bryan, who prefers sporting clays over any other shooting discipline as it most resembles actual hunting conditions. Everyone gets rusty over the summer and by shooting sporting clays you will be in top shooting condition.

2. Match your load to the game

Bryan recommends cleaning the shells left in the pockets from the last shooting session. "Make sure you take the loads that aren't compatible with the shotgun you are using out of your hunting vest or coat." advises Bryan. While a load of 7 1/2's will do little but punch holes in the sky, a 20 gauge shell accidentally loaded in front of a 12 gauge shell is a recipe for disaster.

3. Keep yourself in good physical condition

By keeping yourself in good physical condition you will ensure you will be able to get to the areas you want to hunt and areas that have birds. Bryan has guided many hunters who weren't in good physical condition and their ability to effectively hunt was hampered greatly.

Hunters who aren't using dogs especially need to be in great shape to cover the amount of ground which must be covered to flush birds You need to be in shape so you can physically go where you want to go" says Bryan.

4. Keep your dog in top condition and ensure the dog knows its commands.

"Keeping a good handle on your dog will make or break a successful hunt. The last thing you need is a renegade dog busting birds or running off way ahead of you while hunting." claims Bryan.

Proper etiquette in the field – only the dog's owner /handler should give any commands to the dog.

5. Take your time when taking the shot

"Many hunters hurry their shot. By doing this, it does not give the shot column a chance to spread out to cleanly take the bird. You have plenty of time to get a good bead on the bird so don't hurry the shot," says Bryan.

This fall don't despair over the reported bird count. There are plenty of birds to be had. States like Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota, still have plenty of birds. With a little determination, shoe leather and following Bryan's tips, you too can limit out on ringnecks.

Would you like to discuss bird hunting? Call us at 816-220-1000 to learn more about hunting private property.