Bird Dog & Retriever News

Dec 2016 / Jan 2017 issue page 14

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Scouting an area will increase your odds of finding pheasants and good maps will help your efforts. Visit the wildlife management areas page for free online, interactive maps that identify wildlife management areas and Walk-In Access areas. Combined, these programs provide over 400,000 acres of public hunting land in Minnesota's farmland zone. A local plat book may also come in handy to identify specific pieces of land.
Shotgun and shells
The best shotgun is one you are comfortable with. The style or gauge isn't nearly as important as your ability to use it. Since pheasants are tough birds, choose a load such as 4 or 5 shot and limit your shooting distances to 40 yards or less. This will result in fewer wounded birds. Nontoxic shot is required on federal land and many hunters prefer to use it any time they're in the field.
Blaze orange
Minnesota pheasant hunters are required to wear at least one visible article of clothing above the waist that is blaze orange. This could be a hat, jacket or hunting vest. Consider that the more blaze orange you wear, the more visible you'll be to other hunters.
Good footwear  
Pheasant hunting involves lots of walking on uneven terrain. Good quality, above-the-ankle shoes or boots will provide comfort and support for a day in the field. Since crossing creeks and marshy areas is common, many hunters prefer waterproof boots.
Layered clothing
Cool fall mornings often turn into sunny, warm afternoons. Layered clothing will prepare you for a variety of weather conditions. Long sleeves and gloves will help keep you from getting scratched up when moving through tall grass, cattails or woody cover. Hunting chaps or brush pants are an option to protect your legs and keep you dry on mornings when the grass is wet.
Eye and ear protection
Any time you use a firearm, protect your eyes and ears. Sunglasses and foam ear plugs provide basic protection. More expensive options include coated, colored, high impact lenses and digital hearing aids that enhance some sounds while protecting ears from loud noises.
A good dog
A dog is not required to hunt pheasants, but a good hunting dog will be a companion in the field and increase chances to harvest and recover birds. Be aware that owning a hunting dog is a year-round commitment of care and training. Be sure you're willing to invest significant time and energy before taking on the responsibility of a dog.
Be sure to carry at least two bottles of water in the field and have jugs of water at your vehicle. Water your dog and yourself, often. Bring snacks to keep your energy level up and consider canine energy bars for your dog.
Finally, grassland habitat is the key to supporting pheasant populations, and much work remains to improve pheasant habitat in Minnesota. The grasslands that support pheasants have multiple important benefits for people, other wildlife, pollinators, water quality and local economies.
To learn more about pheasant hunting, as well as about what the DNR and partner organizations are doing to improve pheasant habitat, visit the pheasant page.
Game and Parks to release pheasants at 14 WMAs in time for Thanksgiving
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will release rooster pheasants at 14 wildlife management areas in time for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
The 14 areas are: Oak Valley (Madison County), Wilkinson (Platte County), Sherman Reservoir (Sherman County), Pressey (Custer County), Branched Oak (Lancaster County), Yankee Hill (Lancaster County), Twin Oaks (Johnson County), Hickory Ridge (Johnson County), Cornhusker (Hall County), Peru Bottoms (Nemaha County), William Gilmour (Tobacco Island; Cass County), Schilling (Cass County), Arrowhead (Gage County), and George Syas (Platte County). William Gilmour (Tobacco Island), Schilling, Wilkinson and Peru Bottoms are non-toxic shot only, but otherwise all normal regulations apply.
The pheasants were released to increase hunting opportunities over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and to encourage families to go afield together.
The pheasant season runs through Jan. 31, 2017. Permits, including the nonresident two-day hunt permit, may be purchased at The nonresident two-day permit is valid for any two consecutive days of upland game or waterfowl hunting during the calendar year. Applicable stamps must be purchased.
For more information, contact Game and Parks at 402-471-0641.
 Nebraskans enjoy upland bird season opener
Nebraskans enjoyed another upland bird season opener on Oct. 29. While hunters reported seeing good numbers of birds, unseasonably warm, dry weather over much of the state negatively affected hunter success.
Dry conditions resulted in poor scenting conditions for dogs. Reports indicated that hunters' dogs were having difficulty locating downed pheasants. Wind was an issue in some parts of the state, as well. Hunters also reported birds flushing wild, well ahead of their hunting parties, but were seeing birds in the field. Hunters reported good numbers of quail range-wide. Hunting activity was low on Oct. 30, with few hunters afield despite more moderate weather conditions.
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission staff and law enforcement made contact with more than 1,111 hunters statewide over opening weekend for which bag checks were reported. These hunters harvested 651 pheasants (0.59 roosters per hunter) and 143 quail (0.13). On pheasant release sites, and additional 932 hunters were encountered, with 502 pheasants harvested (0.54). Harvest success was generally higher across the state compared to at pheasant release sites.
The following is a report of hunting activity by district
Southwest – Hunters were greeted by warm, dry conditions on opening day with a high temperature of 82 degrees in Harlan County. Between 25-85 percent of crops had been harvested across

Stan BentaL: Master Sculptor Of The Hunting Dog 505-986-8623 See our display ad on page 2.
Cranberry Creek GameBirds: See our display adv on page 16 Mike and Wendy Hack, Nekoosa, WI 715-570-1013




GQF Manufacturing Company: Savannah, GA 912-236-0651
GAME BIRDS for sale: Flight conditioned Bobwhite Quail, Ringneck Pheasants, Chukar Patridges. Pickup at the farm, Darwin Laitenberger, Minn. Lake, MN 507-462-3589




Woodland Acre Hatchery: Jared Anderson at 507-236-3618, Fairmont, MN
Gun Dog Supply: Starkville, MS 800-624-6378
Collar Clinic: See our Display Adv on Page 10. 1-800-430-2010
dogsunlimited: Ray, OH 800-338-3647
Gun Dog Supply: Starkville, MS 800-624-6378
Lion Country Supply: 800-662-5202, Port Matilda, PA
dogsunlimited: Ray, OH 800-338-3647
JAMES D JULIA, INC: See our display adv on page 5, 207-453-7125
Lion Country Supply: 800-662-5202, Port Matilda, PA
ROBERT LOUIS COMPANY, INC: See our display adv on page 10, 800-979-9156
Battenkill Lodge: See our display adv on page 16, 516-671-7690.


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Copyrights Bird Dog & Retriever News December 2016
Do not reproduce or retransmit in any form, and we surf the web, we'll find you.
Maintained by Dennis Guldan e-mail
Bird Dog & Retriever News, PO Box 120089, New Brighton, MN 55112,
Phone 612-868-9169 Adv deadline 1st of the month prior to the issue.