When most people discuss pheasant hunting they refer to group pheasant hunting.
So many of the trips you hear about involve groups of hunters that head out on a large party hunting adventure.
But for many hunters there is a different adventure to be had with a solo hunt. Some hunters appreciate the solidarity of being in the field all on their own or only with their trusty dog by their side.
There is a unique discipline required for hunting on your own. Safety becomes even more important and it’s not just about the safety of the weapon. On false step in the field could lead to a broken leg, which would leave a solo hunter stranded without help.
If you are interested in solo hunting for pheasants then here are some suggestions to get you prepared.
Patience and Safety are Top Priority
Safety is the biggest consideration for any hunter heading out on a solo hunt. Even if you have your trusty dog by your side it’s important to make sure to follow the basic rules of hunting safety.
Tell Someone Where You Are and When You’ll Return
- It’s tough to do this because the entire point of a solo hunt of any kind including a solo pheasant hunt is that you want to get away from it all for a while. Sometimes the world gets busy and we need to unwind and get away from the regular life. The outdoors is a great place to find solace and relax while we have time to think.
But realize that you can still achieve this alone time even if you tell someone where you’re going. There are different things that can happen in the woods and in the field. If nobody knows where you are then it will become more difficult to find you in case something happens.
Be careful with the terrain
- Even the flat terrain in the Dakotas or in other states can present challenges. There is nothing worse than walking along and getting caught off guard by a hidden hole underneath the long grass.
It only takes one unexpected terrain issue to cause a sprained ankle or even worse. Make sure to take your time in the field and step carefully to make sure you are ready for whatever is under your feet.
Do as much planning as possible
- It can be enjoyable to simply head out to the field without any kind of plan. But when you’re on your own it can be dangerous to think about traveling into uncertain territory. Make sure you have at least some kind of plan prepared.
A plan makes things more expected as you head out to the field for your hunt. You’ll not only be protecting yourself from potential injury, but you’ll also be setting yourself up for a more enjoyable hunt. The scouting sessions you do ahead of time are good for both a successful hunt and injury prevention.
Strategy for Solo Pheasant Hunters
Now that we have the safety concerns out of the way it’s time to get into strategy.
There are many great things about solo hunts and one of those is the added challenge.
With pheasant hunting it can be a great challenge to go out on a solo hunt. You won’t have the advantage of multiple dogs in the field most likely and you won’t have your fellow hunters with you. It’s just you and the birds and it’s a challenge that makes success even more enjoyable.
First, late season is a good time to go on solo pheasant hunts. There will be fewer hunters in the field on both public and private land. As the season goes on the hunting groups will start to head back to their homes. The pheasants might be more wary of hunters at this time, but there will be fewer hunters in the field to keep the pressure on. There can be a resurgence of activity late in the season for the dedicated person.
Second, solo hunters usually like to take their trusty hunting dog with them and let the dog to the leading. The hunter can hang back and let the dog manage its way through various areas where the pheasants might be holding up. Look for the edges of cover and have the dog works its way through these areas real slow. There is no rush. It’s just you, the dog and the birds. Take your time and really hit those edges to find the birds that are taking cover from all the hunting pressure in the previous weeks.
Finally, a tip some hunters will share for solo hunting is to be quiet. During group hunts it can get pretty loud with people calling out commands to the dog and calling out for birds and shooting areas. When solo hunting it can be beneficial to keep quiet and really work the areas with your dog. You’ll be able to put the sneak on the birds and catch them off guard.
For additional strategies for solo hunting and equipment requirements check out Hunting Pheasants By Yourself
Outfitting Options for Solo Pheasant Hunters
Most outfitting packages are setup to accommodate multiple hunters. The reason for this is that the outfitters want to have their cabins full each season to maximize their revenue.
While this is the case in the majority of situations there are packages available for solo hunters. Look for things like the ultimate solu hunting package. You can usually find a place to hunt for less than a couple hundred bucks. There are even options that allow you to visit for just a single day or even a half day.
Depending on the location of the outfitter you might even have a chance to get yourself on some multiple species like quail and dove along with pheasants. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a little better chance in the field while still challenging yourself.
It’s perfect for taking an afternoon out of the office to go and get on some real good pheasants.
Again, later on in the season might work best. Contact an outfitter and ask if they have any slow days later in their season and if they would allow you to come out and solo hunt to fill the space. You never know and it never hurts to ask.
Hunting solo for pheasants is a great challenge for any upland bird hunter. While it’s fun to get together with a few buddies or some of the family members to pheasant hunt there is a different aspect to solo hunting that brings the art of the hunt back to its roots.
Try a solo hunt this season. Be careful in the field because the danger aspect is a little higher. Enjoy yourself and be produc when you harvest those birds.
Image Credit: pocketwiley