We know you want afternoons in tall grasses, some wind in your face and dogs keyed in on pheasants and our mission is to make that happen. We want you to have the most memorable experience in our fields and lodges so to really enjoy that perfect upland hunt, consider these five tips as a good start to your hunt with us.
Carry the right shotgun
Being comfortable in the field is a fine first step towards a successful hunt. Just because you like the look of a friend’s 20 gauge or you fell for that Benelli behind the counter does not mean that it will fit you correctly. Take the time to work with your gun store to either find a model that matches your size or have one fitted. A proper gun suited to your frame will be easier to handle and mount, providing you with more opportunities to drop that clay pigeon or rooster.
Watch Every Step
Think about pheasant hunting as an adventure that starts at your truck. You may be a ten minute ride to the fields but working quietly from the start will have you taking your first steps the same way: silently. Pheasants have excellent hearing and will start to run for deep cover or out of fields all together at the sound of boots and tires. Later in the season, after lots of hunting pressure, they will be especially sensitive to noise and that starts back at the parking lot.
Trust your handler
No one knows how dogs will react better than their owners or handlers so let them run, listen to the commands. Understanding what each whistle or hand gesture means to the dog may give you an upper hand when birds fly. And always know where the dogs are. Shoot high; there’s no reason ever to risk a low shot if you can’t see or hear the dogs. If something in your head says you’re not comfortable with the shot angle, take a pass.
Watch the wind
You want the wind in your face but that doesn’t always happen. Send in the dogs downwind to scare up some action on your end of the field or start working the thickest, downwind cover first. That heavy cover may slow down their escape. Save the upwind section for last so you have a better chance of flushing birds.
Don’t Rush It
Have breakfast with us; let us cook the bacon for you while you have just enough coffee. Pheasant are more active later in the day when they slow down the eating and move to areas of better cover for the night. This is when you should be making your own move to the edges separating food from bedding. You don’t need to be a hero at sunrise; while we do offer the finest whiskeys and bourbons, they can wait until the sun sets and wise hunters return with full bags.