The prospects of hunting pheasants for the first time is exciting, but it can also cause a new hunter to be nervous. Even if you’ve hunted other game before there is a different excitement that comes with pheasant hunting. You could be heading out by yourself, with a parent or with a group of friends. Either way, it’s exciting, but you know that you want to prepare as best you can for the hunt.
After all, nobody wants to get out in the field and miss out on opportunities or cause others to miss out on opportunities of their own.
We’ve come up with some good information for the first time pheasant hunter. This will build on the first article that included some great tips for beginner pheasant hunters
. Be sure to check that article out for more tips that will prepare you.
Group Formation Pheasant Hunting Tips
Some first time pheasant hunters are asked to go hunting by their friends that have been doing it for years. It’s a great way to get your feet wet in the
field. You can head out with some seasoned hunters. Maybe there is a group of 4 or 6 of you that are planning to hit the field.
The typical formation will be to space yourselves out about 15 yards out from each other. Then you simply walk through the field at a steady, but slow pace. Maybe you have dogs out in front of you a little ways that will flush the birds as they’re trained to do.
An important thing to remember in this formation is that you don’t want to get too far away from your fellow hunters. The birds are wily creatures and they can double back on you without you even knowing. Soon you’ll be past a good bird and they’ll fly up once you’ve gotten past. It will leave you with no shot.
Shooting Area Tips
Now, when you’re hunting in a group formation you want to make sure you understand where you can shoot. This means that you’ll want to focus only on the area directly in front of you. If you have a question about a bird that’s flying take the option of letting it fly into someone else’s area. After all, you’re the new guy in the group and you’ll be picking up on the dynamic of the hunters. You won’t want to make a wrong move and make someone upset. It’s not worth it.
Additional things to watch for are getting out too far ahead or lagging too far behind. Younger hunters tend to get excited and get out in front. This can be dangerous because you’ll be more in line of the other hunters and their shooting. The same is true for lagging too far back with your own shooting lanes.
Hunting in groups is fun, but be aware of these things and you’ll be fine with etiquette and safety.
One final tip for shooting area is to make sure you’re on a cock pheasant or rooster pheasant. You’ll have to train yourself to know what kind of bird is what in the field. Also, make sure you’re yelling out what you think the bird is when it flies. The birds will fly into other areas for others to shoot and if you can help out you definitely want to.
Practice Shooting Tips
Practice is the best way to make sure your shotgun skills are good to go for the field. Pheasant hunting is like anything else. The more you practice the more confident you’ll be once you get out there. There will be miscues, but that is true for anybody.
Ask your hunting partners if you can shoot with them in preparation. They’ll likely enjoy the shooting for themselves and will give you a few tips.
You can also go to your local Rod & Gun Club or similar shooting group and ask for a lesson. There are always others that will be willing to help you out.
Practice is also a good way to get familiar with your gun. You’ll learn how to handle it and how to take care of it so it is a safe weapon for hunting.
Tags and Licensing Tips
There are different tag or bag limits for different areas. You also have different licensing requirements for pheasants by region. There are different limits for hunting on reserves and for hunting on other types of land.
Make sure you understand the area you’re hunting. Ask your fellow hunters about the regulations. Go to your local sporting good store and ask someone to help you prepare with tags and licensing. You want to make sure you’re legal and ready to go when you’re out in the field.
You could also visit Google and search for “[your region] pheasant license”. You should get a department website that will have all the information you need or a phone number you can call.
Attire and Gear Tips
Blaze orange is required in nearly all instances of pheasant hunting. You’ll want to have a blaze orange cap or hat. This will allow the other hunters to clearly see you. When you’re walking through the field the grass can get tall and you want to make sure you’re visible. No bird is worth an injury.
A shooting vest is a good piece of gear. A good vest will have a little more padding on the shooting shoulder to give you a little relief from the kickback on the shotgun. A vest will also have a pouch on the back in some cases to hold the birds you harvest. Make sure the vest is durable to withstand any prickers and other tricky things out in the field.
Wear comfortable clothes. Remember that the wind can get cold and chilly, but you don’t want to wear too much out in the field. You’ll get warm quick even if you’re walking at a slow pace.
Layering if the way to go. you can always take off a layer and store it in the pouch on the vest or tie it around your waist or neck.
Two final notes. One, make sure you wear durable pants. You’ll be walking through some tough stuff and you don’t want rips in your jeans. Two, wear waterproof boots that are durable. Even if it appears dry outside there are always surprise puddles in the field.
The first time out in the field hunting pheasants is a big thrill for many hunters. It can be a really enjoyable experience with just a few preparations. You’ll want to make sure you know the etiquette for shooting and staying in line with the other hunters.
Also make sure you have all the gear ready to go so you’re comfortable and you can enjoy yourself. And practice ahead of time and get your licenses all set so there are no worries in the field.
Now you’ll be able to head out for the first time and really enjoy yourself and soon you’ll be talking about going on those repeat hunts.
For additional pheasant hunting resources check out:
Taking a Kid Hunting for the First Time
Introducing Your Dog to Pheasant Hunting
Things to Consider When Buying Your First Shotgun
Introducing Kids to Pheasant Hunting