Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This Thanksgiving Why Not Eat Some Pheasant

Did you know that we have some great recipes for pheasant over at

This Thanksgiving why not try a tasty pheasant dish instead of the same old roasted turkey.

One of my favorite pheasant recipes:

Smoked Pheasant Recipe

Prep Time:  1 hour   |   Cooking Time:  3 1/2 Hours   |   Servings: 6

1 1/2 lbs. of Thick Sliced Bacon
3 Pheasant

1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup of Pickling Salt
1 can of unsweetened Apple Juice (46 oz)
1/4 Cup of Olive Oil
2 Tsp. Sage
2 Tsp. Thyme
2 Tsp. Liquid Smoke
Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Once mixed, place equal part of the brine into three Ziploc bags.  Place one whole pheasant (preferably skin on) and insure the bird stays completely covered. Remove all air from the bags.  Refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

1 lbs. Country Sausage (BelAir Meat Counter) OR Spicy Pork

1 Pound Country Sausage (BelAir Meat Counter) Or spicy pork sausage ½ Red Bell Pepper ½ Yellow Bell Pepper
5 Red Pearl Onions
4 Clove of Garlic
3 Stocks of Celery
1 Stick of Butter
Chop up peppers, onions, celery, and garlic. Heat a large skillet and melt the butter careful not to burn the butter. Place peppers, onions, celery, and garlic in the hot butter and fry until tender. Then brown the sausage in with the peppers, onions, celery, and garlic. Do not over cook the sausage.
When the pheasant is done marinating fill the cavity completely full with the stuffing.

Smoking:After birds are stuffed, tie the bird’s legs and wings up close to the bird.
Wrap the entire bird with bacon using toothpicks to hold the bacon in place.
Smoke for about 2 ½ hours using hickory chips the entire time.

Baking:Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a broiler pan, cover the bottom of the pan with water and add 2 tsp of liquid smoke to the water. Place the birds on the top grate of the broiler pan and cover all with tin foil.
Bake for approx 45 min. remove tin foil and bacon and cook until the bird is done and golden brown. Spoon out the stuffing and serve it on the side.
This meal is to die for.

Caution:Stuffing should never be left in the bird. Care is to be taken when handling any fowl. Always insure the bird is completely done using a meat thermometer. (170 Degrees)
Friday, October 15, 2010

Any Deer Hunters In The Crowd?

Hi everyone, I know this blog is really focused on pheasant hunting but for any of you that chase whitetail from time to time I wanted to share one of my favorite resources:  Deer Hunting Tips from the gang over at Foremost Hunting has some great nuts and bolts articles on how to bag big trophy bucks.  If you chase deer check out the page.
Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hunting Dog Socialization 201

As you learned in the previous socialization article (Hunting Dog Socialization 101), socialization is crucial to your dog’s training. In the simplest of terms, socialization is introducing your dog to new people, places, and experiences. This process teaches your dog to be comfortable and confident in new situations. The socialization process begins the very first day the dog is in your home. The first article detailed the best way to start socialization within your home. Here we will look at introducing your dog to new places and people.

Regardless of what you will be showing your puppy, it is very important that you not allow the dog to become scared or hurt. This will negatively color the socialization process, which can be difficult to undo. A puppy that has adequately bonded with you should feel comfortable with most new situations as long as you are nearby. You have developed a trusting relationship where the dog should be able to trust you to protect him. This next step of socialization cannot happen effectively if this relationship has not been built.

It is natural for a dog to be curious about new places. You should certainly encourage this, as long as it is proper and legal. Be aware of any safety issues as you bring your dog to new places, and look into local laws regarding leashes. If possible, the dog should be able to explore freely, off-lead, in many areas. Even if your area has strict leash laws, it is likely there are areas that are created for unleashed dogs. Allow the dog to take rides in the vehicle with you, even if you are just running a quick errand. Take the dog with you to parks, lakes, woods, and friends’ homes. Dog parks are ideal in that they expose puppies to other dogs and to other human owners. Be aware of his reaction these situations and be ready to intervene if the puppy is acting inappropriately. As for other humans, kindly ask them not to offer your dog treats. In this stage, it is important that you are the only person in charge.

You should always remain in firm control, keeping the dog safe and secure. In a situation where the dog leaves your side to explore, call him back every so often and reward his obedience. In this you are building the trusting relationship where you are in control, but still encouraging his natural curiosity.

Beginning commands can be taught as you are building this relationship and teaching socialization. Between eight and twelve weeks old, the dog should be able to learn the basics like: no, sit, come, heel, and stay. Early training will ensure the success of later, more specified hunting training.

In a puppy’s life, nearly every moment holds potential for training. It will take concentrated effort, but your time and energy will be well worth it when the time comes for more in-depth training. At that point, the dog will be obedient, receptive, and ready to learn.
Friday, July 02, 2010

Hunting Dog Socialization 101

Long before you can tackle the art of training your hunting dog, you will start the necessary process of socialization. In a nutshell, socialization is introducing the dog to new people, places, things, and experiences in an effort to help the dog adjust to new situations well. We have all seen the dog that become skittish whenever you enter a new environment. The goal of socialization is too avoid behavior changes that accompany new places or events and build your dog’s confidence. It also establishes a foundation upon which all other training will build. In the end, this process will have created a companion that can roll with the punches on and off the hunt.

Bringing Home Puppy

Your brand new puppy will arrive to your home excited, but wary. More than likely the pup will feel out of sorts and lost. However, most puppies quickly realize your home holds new adventures. Keeping a close eye, allow the dog to explore his new surroundings. Keep in mind that puppies can be destructive (in many ways), so it is important to take precautions with valuables. Also, although you will be watching, keep a bit of distance to allow the dog to experience the surroundings without your constant shadow. The puppy will return to you soon enough, at which point you should shower him with love and affection. Any attention should be calm; stick with back or head rubs and using his name while you are petting. At this point, playing competitive games (like a tug of war) or rough-housing is not recommended, simply because it can send a message to the pup that you are buddies on equal footing, instead of establishing you as the boss.

Going Outside

In the outdoors, give the pup plenty of freedom to explore, as long as it is safe. Allow him to explore as you watch from a distance. Right away, you can begin using his name and calling to him to come. If he obeys, reward him with a small treat, and then allow him to return to his exploration.

Puppy Place

Your new puppy needs to have a space that he knows is his. It may be a crate in the home or a kennel of some sort outdoors. It should be a place where the dog feels safe and secure. It should not be a place where the dog is sent after misbehavior, but instead it should be associated with good things. Many owners choose to feed puppies within the crate for this very reason. It is important to train the dog to sleep at night within the crate. Whining should not be rewarded with your attention, as it teaches the dog to whine again whenever he wants or needs something. It is certainly not easy to listen to the whining, but it should last just a few nights before he realizes the whining will not work.

Introducing the Family

Your family needs to know the process of socializing and training the pup. It is very important that they expect the same behavior from the dog as you do. In most cases, misbehavior can be followed by a calm, but firm “NO.” At some point, you or a family member may be tempted to yell, but this can often confuse a dog and make them more excitable. Also, hunting dogs will need to become comfortable with loud noises, so do not clap or use other loud noises in discipline. Instead, grab the skin between his shoulders and lightly shake the dog. This motion is uncomfortable enough to be unpleasant to the dog, but does not hurt him or make him afraid.

Related Gundog Articles:

Introducing Your Puppy To Hunting

Crate Training A New Puppy

How to Choose a Gundog Puppy From a Litter

Training Your Hunting Dogs and Kids

Retriever Puppy Training Tips

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gun Dog Training Between Seasons

Picture for a moment an NFL football player in March or April. Although he is not in the height of his season, regularly working with the team to improve plays and build stamina, he cannot afford to be stagnant. Athletes depend on their bodies to continually succeed, so they must train consistently, even when games and events aren’t regularly scheduled.

The same can be said of your hunting dog. Although you are not depending on his prowess during the lazy days of summer, it is still important to maintain your dog’s level of fitness and ability. You cannot expect the dog to jump back into the game without any maintenance of the dog’s skills. Your dog is an athlete who works strenuously to please you during the hunt. And the simple truth is this: it takes more than a week or two before bird season to maintain the level of skill necessary for a successful hunting experience. There is nothing worse on the first day of the hunt than having a dog full of a year’s worth of enthusiasm and only an hour or two of stamina.

Hunting can be tiring for us, but we are not literally running all day long, as are our hunting dogs. The dog enjoys this work, but it is still demanding on his heart and lungs. His muscles should be toned and ready for exertion. Another important thing is that your dog maintains tough pads on his feet. His feet should be able to physically withstand hours of running on rough and unpredictable ground. These are all things that can be maintained with mild, but consistent workouts consisting of runs, retrievals, and basic drills.

Another issue to consider is the dog’s exposure to climate control. If your dog resides in an air-conditioned home for the spring/summer/early fall, exposure to hard work in an uncontrolled climate can take its toll on the dog. The first day of the hunt has the potential to be quite warm or quite cold, depending on the area, and your dog should be prepared to work in that climate. It is not ideal to leave the dog outside all summer either, but consistent exposure to the outdoors will help to prepare him for hunting season.

Worse yet, the sudden exertion on the part of a dog that has been allowed to be lazy for 9 months can cause debilitating injuries. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments can be damaged if they are suddenly overused. Hunting dogs have such a desire and passion for the sport that they will actually hurt themselves in their enthusiasm. This can lead to a disappointing hunting season with your best hunting buddy out of commission.

An unfit, unprepared hunting dog reflects poorly on his owner. It is as if you have “put away” the dog during the off-season, much like you put away your orange vest. Spend a night or two each week during the off-season to exercise and condition your dog for the future hunt. Increase this time as the hunt approaches, adding drills, swimming, roading, and retrieving.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Importance of Your Dog’s Diet

The better we as humans eat, the better our bodies function. We can avoid excessive sickness, weight gain, and fatigue, among other things, if we are eating well. As the saying goes, “Garbage in, garbage out.” The same can be said of our hunting dogs. If you are expecting optimum performance from your dog, you should be providing the best diet possible. This does not mean you should spend more on your dog’s food than your own, it simply means that you should be cognizant of the ingredients within your dog’s food and make changes where necessary.

Dog Food

The first ingredient in your dog’s bag of food should be chicken or lamb (or it could be a pricier meat like buffalo, duck, or salmon). Meat byproducts are often found in lesser quality foods, which signify the use of any number of extra pieces of the animal that were not able to be used in the grocery store for human consumption. There should be at least 20% protein in the dog’s food, supplied by the highest quality meat ingredients you can afford. Along with this, the food should have about 10% fat. Beware of fillers. Corn is a common ingredient in dog food, but is very difficult for dogs to digest and fills their stomach so there is less room for more nutritious foods. In some packaged dog foods, oatmeal is used as a filler; oatmeal is much friendlier to your dog’s digestive system and therefore a much better choice. Some manufacturers are responding to the needs of healthier ingredients and have begun adding fruits and vegetables, which will also help round your dog’s diet.


Depending on your dog’s level of activity, the quantity of food you are serving him or her will change. During a high-activity time, the body’s demand for calories to burn will be higher, necessitating more food. On the other hand, if it is the off-season and the dog is spending a lot of time resting and napping the quantity of food you supply should be less. However, cold weather requires more food than summer temperatures (up to 50% more).


The consumption of water is vastly important to your dog’s health. Water aids in the digestion and absorption of food, as well as regulating the dog’s internal body temperature. Toxins and waste are carried away from the body with water. Just for survival, the dog needs at least 2 ml of water for every pound the dog weighs each day.


For a dog that is in need of an additional boost of energy or if they are recovering from injury or sickness, you can add a boost to their diet with just a few ingredients. Boil chicken or liver until done, then put in the food processor or mash it well. Add about ½ cup to the dog’s regular food. Other additions can be: a raw egg, ½ cup yogurt or cottage cheese, and salmon oil (or other fish oil).


A quality, well-balanced diet leads to energy, well-developed muscles, a thick coat, and insulation against cold weather. Less illness will plague your dog and injuries can even heal more quickly if your dog is well fed.
Friday, May 14, 2010

Pheasant Hunting With A Deaf Dog

I had the opportunity to hit the pheasant fields with Andy Walton from Hillside Springs Hunt Club and his deaf dog Snowball.  Here is a short video story from the event.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tips to End Problem Barking

We’ve all been around them. We’ve all been annoyed by them. We all hope we won’t have one ourselves. A dog who barks incessantly can be problematic in the home and in the hunting terrain. The causes can be varied, but an overactive barker can infuriate and exasperate you and anyone around you.

Reacting in anger often results in yelling at the dog. But yelling reinforces the behavior and can make the dog feel that you are joining in the action. By reacting to the barking, you are often rewarding the behavior and therefore encouraging it. Even a negative reaction is giving attention to the barking.

Here are a few tips for working through barking issues:

1. First of all, it is much easier to solve a barking problem in a puppy than a full-grown dog. If a dog has been living and working while maintaining a high level of barking all of his life, it will be a much harder habit to break. Be realistic in your expectations and realize that it could take weeks to re-train your dog in this area. During this time, confine the dog to a place where he will not bother others so much, if necessary. If you need to leave the dog in the house alone, you may want to turn on a TV or radio to help block out outside noises that will incite more barking. You may also wish to turn off the telephone ringer and doorbell if these create barking problems.

2. Second, investigate the cause of the barking. There are countless reasons a dog may bark too much. Whether it is boredom or the threat of danger or excitement over seeing a friend, it is important that you recognize the triggers that set off a barking spree. If you suspect the barking is a result of boredom, loneliness, frustration, or fear, you may be able to remove the cause of the problem. Stopping to sit with the dog quietly or providing a chew toy can often break the cycle of incessant barking. It is also possible that your dog is in need of a change in scenery. Take the dog for a long walk or play a game with him to break a barking cycle. Although you will never be able to remove every annoyance, there are certain things that you can overcome.

3. Help the dog relax. When the dog is particularly loud, pull him aside and sit next to him, scratching his favorite spot or petting his head while saying calm and soothing words. This can be particularly effective if your dog is barking too much in the vehicle or home and you are close. If the dog is outdoors and there are continual distractions or triggers for barking, you will probably have to remove him from the situation before the barking can cease.

4. Develop an easy command that you consistently use. Because dogs do not inherently know whether barking is good or bad, it is your job to train them. When the dog barks to notify you of a stranger or an unfamiliar sound, go to the dog and praise him for notifying you. After the praise, say a simple, “Stop barking.” A firm, even-toned voice will communicate your calm and help to calm the dog. At the same moment as the command, hold a special food treat in front of the dog’s nose. Most dogs will stop barking immediately at the sight (and smell) of the treat. Before delivering the treat, praise the dog for ceasing to bark thereby encouraging her to remain quiet. The next time you repeat these actions, wait a few more quiet seconds before delivering the treat. If there is any barking after you deliver the command, scold the dog immediately.

5. Use a spray bottle filled with water. If the dog cannot relax and the command is not working alone, use the command in conjunction with the spray bottle. A squirt to the face followed by a quick and firm, “Stop barking” will associate the bad behavior (barking) with an unpleasant consequence (water).

Additional Resources:

Gun Dog Training Articles
Training A Dog Not To Bark
Monday, April 05, 2010

Retriever Puppy Training Tips

Retriever Puppy Training Tips

Retriever puppies are genetically fit for hunting and retrieving skills, but you have to consistently train a puppy throughout its life in order to teach it how to best utilize its instincts for future hunts.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How To Control Your Hunting Dog’s Barking

If your hunting dog has developed a barking habit, getting it to stop is not going to be easy. However, you can speed up the process if you know some fundamental strategies to controlling dog barking. When a dog has been allowed to learn some of the negative habits that contribute to dog barking, getting it to stop is going to require reconditioning it. It should be noted that it is nearly impossible to get a hunting dog to stop barking completely, and this is not even necessary. With the proper training, a hunting dog will be able to stop barking on your command.
Yelling Does Not Work Because Dogs Love It!
One mistake that many owners make is to yell “Quiet!” at the dog when it is barking. This often results in the dog barking even more! This is because hunting dogs bark to communicate a number of different things, and when you scream at the top of your lungs at them, they think you’re just joining the chorus. Dogs simply cannot understand what human words mean, however there are several methods that are far more effective at stopping dog barking.
Consider the reasons why your dog is barking. Understanding the root cause of barking will help you stop the behavior. There are a variety of reasons why dogs bark. They are usually attempting to communicate a particular emotion or response. Here are the most common reasons why dogs bark:
  • Warning – the dog perceives some type of danger or threat. This is often accompanied by growling.
  • Excitement – dogs will often bark with enthusiasm when they are excited by some one or something.
  • Anxiety – dogs that have separation anxiety have a high pitched bark that is like a whine.
  • Boredom – the dog has pent up energy from not being exercised or is bored from a lack of contact with people or other dogs.
  • Attention Seeking – dogs will bark to get attention, this can be a more high pitched bark or a whining as well.
  • Communication – dogs in the neighborhood bark to each other to communicate and this is a common reason why dogs bark while outside.
Try to pinpoint the reasons why the dog is barking so much. Keep it out of the circumstances that are causing barking. Controlling a dog’s environment is almost as important as controlling the dog itself.
Positive Reinforcement Is Proven To Be Effective
Positive reinforcement, or rewarding good behavior, has been shown to be much more effective than shock collars. Shock collars instill can instill fear and anxiety in a dog, especially when they deliver a strong and painful shock. Rewarding a dog with food or a treat immediately after it stops barking on the calm but stern command “Quiet” is one common form of positive reinforcement. The dog will learn to associate the word “Quiet” with not barking if this is done repeatedly. Also, be sure to say the word “Good!” immediately after it stops barking in a higher pitched and friendly tone.
Other Types of Barking Control Methods
Citronella collars are a more humane type of dog behavior control collar that spray a harmless scent that dogs do not like. Although this is a form of negative reinforcement, the benefit is that it is not painful for the dog.
Never pet or reward a dog for barking. This is a sure way to eliminate all the work you put towards controlling its barking. If anything, take a toy or your own attention away from the dog when it barks. Barking in the vast majority of cases is an undesirable behavior, and it must be consistently reinforced this way.
Exercise has been shown to reduce barking behavior. In many cases dogs bark simply because they have so much pent up energy. A long walk every day might be more effective than anything else at reducing barking.
Avoid leaving your dog alone for long periods of time, as this creates separation anxiety and can cause your dog to start learning barking behaviors. Often dogs will bark while their owners are away out of anxiety and attention seeking.
Similarly do not leave your dog outside for a long period of time, as dogs outside will start to bark simply because they hear other dogs barking or because they want to come indoors.

Learn More About Training Your Dog Not To Bark
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How Do You Pick a Bird Dog?

If you are ready to make your hunts more successful, you might consider purchasing your own gun dog puppy. There are various breeds and price points, but here you will find some simple suggestions for selecting a puppy that will serve as a hunting partner and lifelong friend.

First, you will need to ask yourself many questions. Will this be a pet that hunts with you 5 days a year or will it be a serious hunting dog that goes hunting 60 days a year? What kind of hunting do you do and where? What kind of personality do you have? What size dog do you want? All of these questions (and more) will guide your conversation with the breeder.

Next, determine the breed you want. For basic information on breeds, visit the link to Gun Dog Breeds on the  or look at the sporting dog descriptions on the AKC web site:  From there, search for breeders in your area that specialize in the breeds that sound most interesting to you. They can answer any questions you have and may lead you in the right direction. A great way to view dogs of different breeds is to attend a dog competition. This can allow you to see what a breed is meant to do and what their titles mean.

Field trials and Hunt Tests are located across the country and can be valuable in your dog search. The events are listed by state, then by the host club for various breeds. Often the clubs that host the events have web sites where club members can list their litters. This can also be a great resource for locating your puppy. Ultimately, getting to know dog owners and breeders is the best way of selecting your own dog.

Third, locate a good litter. It is important to start with a set of four basic standards: 1) Health Clearances of hips, eyes, and elbows on both parents 2) 26 month health contact 3) AKC registration papers 4) Dew claws removed. These are minimum standards for most breeds, but some breeds may require additional health clearance, such as heart and thyroid. The next consideration is the pedigree. If you want your puppy to turn into a working retriever, the pedigree must have a performance title. The best standards come from Field Champions and AKC, NAVDA, or UKC Hunt Test. These titles tell you what skills and abilities the dogs have. If the parent dogs have been able to perform well, it is reasonable to believe that the puppies will also. 

Fourth, pick the right puppy from the crowd. Look at the temperament of the puppy. The average hunter will need a dog that is neither too aggressive nor too submissive. Avoid the bully dogs and the dogs that shy away from the group. Watch the way they use their nose. You will want the puppy that searches the area with its nose in order to learn the surroundings. If you are considering future breeding, you will want to consider physical attributes as well.   For more info on choosing a puppy from a litter please read: How To Choose A Puppy From A Litter by pro dog breeder Ed Hall.  It is a excellent article.

Fourth, determine your price point. You can expect to spend no less than $500 for your bird dog. You may see puppies for sale in upwards of $2,500, but most hunters don’t require this kind of dog. A dog in the $500-$800 range should provide a quality puppy that will have great potential. You will be making a time commitment to the dog for training, exercise, and general care, so you should expect an investment.
Thursday, March 11, 2010

Upland Hunting Dogs 101- Learn about the different gun dog breeds

Friday, March 05, 2010

Pheasant Hunting in SD – Preserves or Native Wild?

Pheasant Hunting in SD – Preserves or Native Wild?

Hunting South Dakota preserves or public land for wild birds a list of pros and cons to both hunts.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Public Hunting in South Dakota

Public Hunting in South Dakota

With around 4.5 million of acres of public land in South Dakota, public hunting is a popular option for hunters. South Dakota is a unique hunting state with its large variety of game, some of which include: pheasant, partridge, quail, coyote, mountain lion, fox, dove, deer, geese, and wild turkey. Both big game and small game hunting are popular in South Dakota.

Public hunting in South Dakota has several benefits including easy access to hunting areas, and fewer costs. Private hunting has the benefit of access to some of the best hunting grounds in South Dakota. Although public hunting is less expensive, there may be a preference to hunt in some private areas that have larger game populations. Many private preserves also offer food and lodging.

South Dakota is well known for its public pheasant hunting. South Dakota has some of the best pheasant hunting grounds in the nation, and it draws in thousands of hunters from around the world each year. There are a wide variety of private hunting lodges that offer unique hunting packages. There is also the popular option of public pheasant hunting as well.

Public Pheasant Hunting in South Dakota 

South Dakota has a rich pheasant hunting history. Hundreds of thousands hunters have tracked the diverse terrain of South Dakota in search for the elusive but plentiful wild pheasant. Wild pheasants make their home in the large wooded areas, crop fields, food plots, and weed patches of South Dakota. Although pheasants are found almost all throughout the state, the eastern side of South Dakota has a larger pheasant population than the rest of the state.

Although there are some excellent public pheasant hunting areas, there are several more private preserves. Since most of South Dakota is privately owned, it turns out that many of the best hunting areas are private. But public pheasant hunting has the benefit of lower costs which is appealing to many hunters.

Roadside hunting is popular form of public hunting in South Dakota because it is one of the few states that have legalized it. Pheasant hunters roadside hunt by staying in hotels and hunting along public roads. Hunters stop routinely along public roads and get out of their cars or trucks to search for pheasants along the roadside. Roadside hunting is better for smaller groups or for individual hunters because it generally requires a lot of transportation and moving around.

Along with public and private pheasant hunting, there is the also option of game farm hunting. Game farms are private hunting grounds in which pheasants have been released into the habitat for the purpose of hunting. The South Dakota pheasant hunting season starts in the fall from the middle of October to the beginning of January. The preserve season runs from September until the end of March.

A Top Destination for Pheasant Hunters 

South Dakota is consistently a top destination for pheasant hunters around the world. Pheasants occupy the terrain of South Dakota in large numbers, and the legality of roadside hunting is favorable to many hunters. With access to large pheasant populations and the availability of many public and private hunting options, South Dakota will likely remain the top pheasant hunting state in the nation for a long time.

Late Season Pheasant Hunts in South Dakota

Late Season Pheasant Hunts in South Dakota 

Late season is still an excellent time to hunt pheasants although it may not seem that way. Late season pheasant hunting begins in early December and ends at the beginning of January. There are a lot of differences between late and early season pheasant hunting, and understanding these differences is important before you decide to go pheasant hunting in the late season.

The late season is not the easiest time to hunt. The weather and temperature might not be easy to bear. Wind chill and snow can make staying outdoors for long periods of time difficult. But, the upside is that there are a lot fewer hunters out, and there are still large groups of pheasants outside.

Benefits of Late Season Pheasant Hunting 

Late season pheasant hunting can prove to be very worthwhile for hunters. Many experienced late season pheasant hunters report good yields from their efforts. Although the weather isn’t the most hospitable, there are still plenty of pheasants around. The unique challenge of battling the harsh weather and frozen terrain for pheasants is what draws hunters to hunt in the late season every year.

Late season pheasant hunting has several benefits. Pheasants travel in larger groups that are easier to spot. The groups are also less hidden as there are fewer areas that pheasants tend to congregate in toward the late season. With the crops out of the way, pheasants tend to gather in CRP food plots and grassy areas. Pheasant can more easily be seen in this type of cover rather than early season cover which is practically everywhere.

Another major benefit is the simple fact that there are going to be a lot fewer hunters out. The bitter cold keeps a lot of less courageous hunters inside, which leaves many prime hunting areas open for the hunters willing to take on the elements.

The Differences in Late Season Pheasant Hunting 

Knowing how pheasant behavior changes in the late season will help your chances of hunting success. The coldest winter months are toward the end of the season, and pheasant behavior and migration begins to change pretty dramatically.

One major difference is that pheasants will begin to gather up in much larger groups. But, smaller groups of pheasants are easier to hunt because the more pheasants there are in the group, the more of a chance that one of them will spot you and alert the flock. So, hunters have to be a little faster because of this. Also, since many pheasants have been shot at several times in the previous months, they are going to be even more easily excitable.

Since crops have been harvested by the time late season rolls around, pheasants will move outside of crop fields for food and shelter sources. Pheasants tend to take shelter near dense cover for better weather protection. So, hunters should be sure to check all areas of thick or dense tree or grass cover.

Tips for Late Season Pheasant Hunting 

It is important to consider the type of gear and clothing you should wear in the late season. With very cold weather, insulation is a must if you want to stay out for longer periods and avoid having to retreat to your lodge or truck to warm up. Several layers of insulated clothing are recommended for the best protection against weather.

Understanding that pheasants are going to be much faster in their responses, it is crucial to remain as quiet as possible when searching for flocks. Be sure to scout brush and tree areas as pheasants will tend to hide there to avoid the weather and for protection. A general rule is: the denser that the cover is, the more likely that pheasants will be in it.

Try to avoid windy days because pheasants are harder to shoot at when it’s windy just because the wind will make your fingers numb, and it might be harder to see them as well. It is very helpful to have a trained hunting dog with you to help you spot and scatter flocks and allow you to pursue individual pheasants.

The Late Season is a Great Opportunity 

Late season pheasant hunting is a great time to hunt, and there are many benefits to it, although it seems disadvantageous at first. It is definitely worthwhile for hunters to have a go at the late season to see if they get good results as opposed to early season pheasant hunting. With fewer hunters and large flocks of pheasants still around, the late season is the perfect opportunity to get a few successful hunts in as the season comes to an end.

More South Dakota Late Season Hunting Tips
Find a South Dakota Pheasant Hunting Guide

How to Choose a South Dakota Pheasant Hunting Guide

We just added a great new article to the site:
How to Choose a South Dakota Pheasant Hunting Guide

If your thinking about heading to the promised land this year for a pheasant hunt read this first.

More On Road Hunting In South Dakota

Road Hunting in South Dakota

Road hunting has been popular in South Dakota for many years as an alternative form of public hunting. South Dakota law allows road hunting for small game and pheasants. Public roads are considered rights-of-way that are open for hunting. Road hunting is legal in South Dakota, but there are several laws that strictly regulate this type of hunting.

Road hunters tend to report high yields from their efforts. Part of the reason why road hunters get such a high yield is because pheasants often gather along roads to collect pebbles for digestion. Also road ditches with brush are common hiding and gathering grounds for pheasants. Road hunting can require a lot of traveling and many road hunters hop from motel to motel in search of pheasants along the public roads of South Dakota.

Rules and Regulations for Road Hunting in South Dakota 

Road hunting is controversial because many private land owners contest that the grounds around public roads are their property and should not be used by road hunters without their consent. However, any game that is shot from a public road that falls on private property may be retrieved by unarmed hunters by law. But, it is still recommended that road hunters seek the permission of private land owners before going onto their property to retrieve game. This helps to avoid unnecessary conflicts and problems.

The law requires hunters to be at least 660 feet away from occupied buildings, homes, livestock, churches, and schools. These laws are strictly enforced in South Dakota. The restrictions on hunting around these areas are for safety reasons and to prevent conflicts between residents and hunters. Also the roads used for road hunting must be well travelled by a clearly worn vehicle trail, otherwise the road may be considered private and unauthorized for hunting.

Self-Guided Private Hunting as an Alternative 

Since most of South Dakota is privately owned, public hunters will often find themselves restricted in the areas that they can hunt in. Private hunting is a way for public hunters to get access to some of the better hunting areas in South Dakota.

For the traditional public road hunter, the option of private hunting may not be very appealing. Having to pay more money and dealing with group number restrictions might not be preferable. However, recently there has been an increased interest in self-guided private hunting.

Although the price of private hunting is higher than public hunting or road hunting, there is the added benefit of hunting on exclusive grounds that are often teeming with pheasants. Self-guided private hunting fees are also normally a lot less than guided hunts.

Self-Guided Hunting Works for Public Hunters and Land Owners 

Farmers and other land owners in South Dakota might not have an interest in setting up guided hunts, but want to make additional income throughout the year. So offering self-guided hunting works perfectly for those land owners who want to license out their land for a fee but don’t want to have to deal with organizing private guided hunts.

Self-guiding hunting is also perfect for those public hunters would prefer to go it alone rather than hunt with the assistance of a guide. However, less experienced public hunters would likely do better on a guided hunt. Self-guided hunting helps road hunters and public hunters avoid conflicts with residents and private land owners, and it also helps private land owners make additional income that they would otherwise not have made. It is a win-win situation for both public hunters and land owners, and it is becoming a viable solution to road hunting conflicts.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Options for Buying a South Dakota Pheasant Hunting License

There are two basic two options for purchasing a non-resident SD Pheasant Hunting License. Licenses can be purchased online or from a registered sales agent within South Dakota.

For the web-savvy, the online option is quick and convenient. Go to South Dakota’s Game, Fish, and Parks website at Click on “Purchase a General/Hunting/Fishing License”. In order to purchase a license online, you will need a driver’s license or other state issued ID and a major credit card. One part that may cause confusion is selecting their two 5-day hunting periods. Non-residents seeking pheasant hunting licensure can select two 5-day hunting periods. The dates you select for the first period will be your first planned hunt. It is recommended that you schedule your second 5-day period as far out as possible in the system. This second period can be moved forward, but can never be pushed back, so this allows you the most flexibility. If you can only schedule one trip per year, purchase your license on or after December 15th. By doing this, you can schedule your first hunting period in the current season and the second period in the next year’s season.

To purchase your license from one of the many registered license agents in South Dakota, visit this link Here you will find listings organized by county and city; using this data, you can find a listing for a conveniently located agent within moments. If you are without a computer, call Game & Fish directly (605-773-3485) and they can direct you to a registered agent.
Thursday, February 18, 2010

Road Hunting In South Dakota

An article discussing Road Hunting for pheasants in the state of South Dakota. I'ts legal and pretty popular, but it's also the source of many sportsmen land owner clashes. Should it be legal? Visit the site, read the article and leave some comments.

Read: Road Hunting In South Dakota

While your at it you can book a South Dakota Hunting Lodge and you won't have to road hunt at all.

Grouse Botany- Find The Cover Find The Birds

Grouse Botany- Find The Cover Find The Birds

Great article for the grouse hunter on how to find cover that grouse like and in turn find grouse.
Monday, January 18, 2010

Burr- Keeping Your Dog In Shape During Cold Weather

Hunting season is over for most of us and the weather has been just to cold to get out and work the dog so how do you keep your best hunting buddy in top shape when the you are stuck indoors? Pro Dog Breeder Kelly Olson has some advice for you... From working out in the garage to swimming- It's important that your 4 legged hunting partner get out and get some exercise 3-4 times per week. Read Keeping Your Hunting Dog In Shape During Cold Times to learn more about this topic.

Shock Collars For Hunting Dogs

There are a few dogs out there that listen well enough while hunting that a e collar or shock collar are not necessary but for the majority of serious hunting dog owners sooner or later you are going to need to think about a e-collar.  When it comes to E-Collars there are almost as many choices as guns and shells.  Professional dog breeder Kelly Olson wrote a great article about e-collars and talks about a few different collars she really likes and why.  If you're in the market for a new collar check out Kelly's article:   E-Collars for Gun Dogs


Follow by Email