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01

Pheasant hunting at the Yellowstone Lake and Wildlife Area in Lafayette County is strangely reminiscent of the spring turkey hunts: the current area’s vegetation and bare soil is covered in frost making hunting mildly treacherous.

Even though the area can be quiet, there are occasional breaks in the calmness from pheasants as the region’s first light descends upon the ground and the birds flee their roosts for safer ground.

Another 20 minutes later, the first gunshots can be heard. These shots are mostly from a nearby shooting range and not hunters finding their quarry.

Unfortunately, this public hunting spot doesn’t have great pheasant hunting land as there was a mix-up in the planting crops and instead of soybeans, corn was planted. Corn grows ten feet tall and is the perfect cover for pheasants as it limits the hunter’s visibility.

Bruce Folley, the wildlife biologist in Lafayette County, is considering leaving a major portion of public land to go fallow next season. Otherwise he may plant seed wheat or other grains for cover and food.

In addition to wild birds, Yellowstone is one of 90 or so public hunting areas that benefit from the release of pheasants from Poynette Game Farm.

Poynette Game Farm released birds throughout November and December.

The captive-bred pheasants will always react differently when they are being hunted. Most of the time this is down to the personality of the bird and the habitat that they are currently occupying. Some of the birds will flush, while some will run or fly off silently.

Pheasants can also be easier to hunt than other game birds like grouse. Normally there is time for the hunter to aim their shot, lead and then fire. This therefore can lead to a much more successful hunting period.

Do you go hunting in the Yellowstone area? What are your experiences of hunting this year?

Let us know in the comments below.


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