Kansas Pheasant Hunting and The Plum Thicket
The Kansas plum thicket. It has had stories and poems about its pheasant holding power for as long as there has been Kansas wild pheasants. It does not appear to be as good as it is.
The surprise is the number of times pheasants will hold up in such spots.
These are when stories are made. They go along the lines that we came upon a plum thicket. The dog went on point.
At first a bird flushed. Then quicker than could be counted they came out like popcorn popping at full heat.
Such bird presentations offer the rare chance for doubles.
A dog steady through drop is a great advantage. One that chases will cut such a plum thicket shoots short by forcing pheasant to run.
The Kansas hunting spot shown in these pictures are highly valued due to the grain crop, edge thicket and tall grass. The value aspect is this combination of food and several types of protective cover types in a small area.
Kansas Pheasant Hunting and Complaints
A complaint that surprises us every time we hear and it comes every year. From first year Association upland bird hunters. That complaint is the topics read on this web site are interpreted guarantees they will have the same experience.
When they do not experience the ideals they have read they feel cheated. These hunters will ignore our writing about zero bird in the bag days.
Kansas hunting can go from bad to great one field away, or one day to the next. Many will tell of one hour limit hunts with great dog work. Others will tell how all points or flushes in range were hens with none in the bag the entire day.
The pictures and text on these pages may seem un-necessary. All the more so for the experienced upland bird hunter. They are of value to those looking toward their first Kansas hunt. They take away some of the mystery of where to hunt. And, we have found that these pictures are never enough.
Reasonable Kansas Pheasant Hunting Expectations
Any on his first Kansas pheasant hunting trip needs come prepared to have more failure than success. No one simply walks into any one field with any dog not raised on wild pheasants and should expect to do well. To think such things is an arrogance that will generate complaints.
Complaints do come. They come from those that claim to have a great dog, a dog having only pen raised bird experience. They come from hunters who never traveled out of their home state to hunt, with preserve hunts being their prior experience. The worst are those that believe that simply because they paid to hunt they should bag a limit in short order each day.
Compliments however are issued at a greater rate than complaints. We often hear that traveling hunters have seen more pheasants on their first trip than their entire life's experience. Local hunters tell how nice it is to get off public land or not have to knock on doors. The greatest compliment are those Association hunters who hunted with their Association for a collection of years. Dropped out and later returned to hunt with their Association again. Their feedback has been they could not find anything better.
What plum thickets, tall grass, brushy draws, waterways and scrub show is that all must hunt it all cover types to find what works for them and their dogs. Not all will hold pheasant or quail every day. Not all dogs are good in all cover.
Late Season Kansas Pheasant Hunting
Our system allows season long hunts. Most will hunt two, one week hunts per season. Most will agree once beyond the rushed feeling of the opening two weeks there is a satisfaction from the colder during the late season hunting.
Kansas pheasant hunting season pictures by upland bird hunter Mike Sheffer.
(Right), sometimes a pheasant comes easy. A roadside point right out of the truck.
It may appear that pheasants may be found anywhere. There will come after some time an understanding of the better pheasant spots. That is the price, time, to be paid in a self guided hunter approach to hunting regardless of public or private land access.
Mike's old dog (11) with the retrieve.
Mike's story is common.
A long time private land hunter seeking access by knocking on doors. He transitioned to Kansas walk-in land as that program developed. His accidental finding of MAHA ended his search for places to hunt. He will still hunt a known out of the way walk-in piece. However, he will say he hunts MAHA land first, with the walk-in pieces hunted when nearby.