How to Hunt Wild Pheasant Effectively

What You'll Need
Hunting dog
Hunters orange vest

Hunting is a sport many enjoy, and of those, some love hunting wild pheasant. No matter when in the pheasant season, wild pheasant offer a challenge to the hunter. It takes planning and patience to effectively hunt wild pheasant, and good marksmanship, of course.

Step 1 - Shotgun

You need a good shotgun for hunting wild pheasant. If you’re an experienced hunter a 2-gauge shotgun is ideal. If you’re not as much of a veteran go with a 12-gauge shotgun, using brass shot. A 12-gauge will put more shot into the bird so you’ll be more likely to bring it down even if your aim isn’t as good.

Make sure your shotgun is well maintained, cleaned and oiled regularly. Don’t use lead shot when hunting for birds you’ll eat as it could result in lead poisoning.

Step 2 - Setting Up

When going out hunting always wear a hunter’s orange vest. This will allow other hunters to see you and you won’t be shot by accident. As you approach the hunting area make sure that the car radio is off and that you park an adequate distance away – a mile away is fine. This means the noise won’t scare away the wild pheasants. Do have a proper hunting license before you go hunting.

You’ll have the best luck finding pheasants if you go hunting in the later part of the afternoon or early in the morning. This is when they forage.

Step 3 - Working the Field

Working the field is important to flush the wild pheasant. It requires two people (and you should always go hunting with a buddy for safety). In open fields the two of you should use a zig zag pattern to keep the pheasant on the move. You want to have the pheasant move into an open area. Once they’ve been forced out into the open the wild pheasant are more likely to start to fly.

Step 4 - Where to Look

Start by looking for wild pheasant at the edges of crops, by streams, and on the borders of fields, where everything is overgrown. These areas offer food and cover for the birds. Work them from here into the open field.

Step 5 - Aiming

When you aim your shotgun, aim it ahead of the wild pheasant in flight. You want to shoot at a point where the bird will be, not where it is. This takes practice. Keep the shotgun barrel with the bird, a little in front of it. Pull the trigger when ready and then lower to gun to track the bird as it falls. If you miss, you still have a chance with the other barrel of the shotgun if your reactions are fast.

Step 6 - Retrieval

Once you’ve brought the wild pheasant down you still have to retrieve it. Doing it yourself is a job that takes time, and you have to be able to find the bird. It’s much easier to have a trained bird dog to go and retrieve the bird.