November 7, 2022
As the temperature quickly plummets, our attention turns from sunny summer weekends at the lake to football, apple picking, pumpkins and for many Minnesotans, hunting. Although there are many scattered throughout the US, hunters are rapidly dwindling in numbers. A pastime lasting throughout generations has been steadily declining since the early 1960s. Hunting encourages comradery, safety, food, and fun. For those that are intrigued by the idea of hunting or are looking for a fun weekend, I would recommend giving pheasant hunting a try this fall. Grab an orange vest, a shotgun, and some comfortable boots and you are ready to go. Although a dog can be beneficial for flushing birds, it is not a necessity. The only caveat is that you can only harvest male pheasants if you are not hunting on a private game farm. You can tell a male pheasant from a female pheasant by their bright beautiful colors (see below for reference). Below are some areas to key in on when looking for pheasants.
Public Land: Minnesota has thousands of acres of public land designed for Minnesotans to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Be sure to check the regulations before you go. In many of these locations, you can hunt pheasants free of charge and on your own time.
Tall CRP Grass: Pheasants live in tall prairie grasses where their beautiful colors keep them hidden from predators. Areas both big and small will hold pheasants if there is enough cover. Look for some hip-high grass and go for a walk. You never know what you might kick up!
Corn Fields/Agriculture: Tall prairie grass alongside corn fields or agriculture fields will increase the chance you will see pheasants. The grain provides food and grass provides cover.
Game Farm: A game farm is a plot of land where the landowner releases pheasants for the hunters to harvest. A game farm is great for beginners as it increases the number of birds you will see and harvest. For roughly $15 per bird, a group of friends can go out and harvest dinner for everyone to enjoy. On a game farm, both male and female pheasants can be harvested.