Pheasant Hunters - Bill (and some deer)

Kansas pheasant hunting

After all these years I've never hunted the wheat stubble thinking it was the realm of the superdog! I was really proud of Ditto—almost all our birds were in that cover this year. Didn't know he had it in him! Was he perfect in the cover?? Hardly! But in spite of our low numbers he did good in tough conditions for being a “city & family” dog. You can almost see my son's body language in the picture say “no way is there a bird here”. That was a first for him too after pushing miles of tall grass.

Kansas pheasant hunting season

late seaosn hunting during a snow storm... quickly discovered that the drifting snow was detrimental—actually got stuck in spite of 4WD. The flat overcast light really makes it hard to judge the depth of the drift, well at least that’s my story and I'm sticking to it. Nice rural plow worker hauled me out after taking himself several miles out of his way to get his owntow rope—would not accept payment so I gave his daughter riding in the cab some green after much pleading with him. Several valuable lessons learned here: don’t mess with drifts and bring a decent rope! Once again the helpfulness and kindness of Kansans surpassed my expectations.

Kansas pheasant hunting season success for a first time hunter...relocated to the SW per your original suggestion. I wish I could report that my son bagged his first rooster, but also as mentioned in our chat prior to the trip, I have a new dog with much to learn. For the first several days I swear he bumped every bird in every field. I'll also admit that I am not as disciplined as many and I shot a few birds that I walked up or that were trapped between the dog and I and were flushed. Hardly good shooting for a young novice hunter with many tough crossing shots at longer ranges.

But, as the days progressed, I could SEE my dog Ditto learning patience and when to relocate and much reduced cat walking on game. First some nice hen points then as if by divine intervention rooster points! Unfortunately I had already put my son back on a plane home by the time things started to gel. On the last three days of the hunt I had two limit days and one day with two but with my poor shooting should/could have been a limit. The best part was that they were all off of points by the end of the trip. I was also elated to learn my dog is a natural retriever with one story I cannot pass up...

A dog during one of his better momentsI knocked down a bird that sailed across a road into a corn field. For many years I hunted without a dog and several more with a dog that was not “into” retrieving. So in this time I learned to quickly get to the downed game as a broken wing does not mean an immobile bird as we all know. In any case, this bird had two good legs and used them to tear into the open corn field. By force of habit I started to run after the bird, but only made it to the center of the road. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Ditto running faster than I have ever seen him run, which is saying something. The scene reminded me of a cheetah running down an impala. The bird did not have a chance—there was a cloud of dust and then, like the movies of the hero rescuing the victim, out of the dust cloud comes the dog with bird. By now my son was with me, in the middle of the road, and we were cheering him on like a couple proud parents at a baseball game. One of those memories I will not soon forget. Funny thing is he does not really show much interest in retrieving pen raised birds—almost like he is not proud enough of them to bother.

a hard pheasant hutning dog pictured with a backdrop of Kansas native grassYour recommendations were great as usual. We spent the whole trip in the [location deleted] area and really did not even feel compelled to sample all the properties. One we learned to call the "long walk", was a particular teaser for us. We never did harvest much here—they seemed spooky—but they teased us with what seemed like dozens of roosters. One day produced a light snow and the tracks were literally on top of each other and everywhere.

It seemed like [location deleted] was getting pounded as it was reserved for most of the trip—but one, half day we bumped into Charles? , a longtime member, and he was gracious with his wise advice and let us call in a half day reservation since he was going to be moving on. Even after his working [location deleted] we got three birds that afternoon and probably would have harvested more, but Ditto got into barbed wire and I had to take him to a vet -- New Years Eve no less. Surprisingly no stitches were needed as he would have chewed or torn them out anyway and he hunted well for the balance of the weekend.

a rare short grass pheasant point well worth a picture on teh wall of any hunter

...If I could offer some advice to the new member hunters it would be that they should not be too picky in selecting only the thickest grass immediately adjacent to crop fields. It is nothing for these wild birds to beat their wing for a few strokes and glide a 1/4 mile to an area that might not see as many humans. A lot of the best hunting for us was in the farthest reaches of the "good" fields well away from the crop and not necessarily in what would be the best grass.

All the best in this new year!

Best Regards, Bill and Bradley

color varition to a pheasant feather

first Kansas pheasant limit for a new upland bird hunter

Kansas wheat land seemingly barren with a lone pheasant crossing it

A proud day

just more of what is out there

finnaly a rest after a long day in the cold, wind and cross country rural kansas

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Mid-America Hunting Association
Spend your time Iowa Pheasant hunting rather than hunting for a place to hunt.
Since 1965

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