Yes, the general pheasant season has been closed for months. But the season is still open on licensed Hunt Clubs. We have a corporate membership at a local club, and I had a customer out on Thursday to enjoy a day in the field.
Let me start by saying this is NOT intended to be a post to open up the proverbial can of worms that exists between wild bird hunters and hunt club users. Hunting wild birds on public land is completely different, if for no other reason than the state imposed bag limits. Hunt clubs are more geared toward shooting rather than hunting. When you go out hunting on public land, you may or may not even see any legal game, let alone shoot any. On a Hunt Club environment, seeing birds is not in question; nor is getting shots. But a well run and well designed club offers a great day in the field, nonetheless.
And that is the point of this post. The club we belong to is run as well as any I have ever visited. We hunt alternating strips of standing corn and dense pine trees, with woodlots and creek bottoms interspersed throughout the property. Some birds flush wildly, some sit tight, and some run. It is a very satisfying day in the field. On this particular trip, we had some huns, too (Hungarian Partridge). These little buggers fly fast and low and are more challenging than the pheasants, at least for me. Kick in the conditions - 26 degrees with a stiff NW wind - and they can be a tough target.
As always, we had a lot of fun, walked a long way in the 4" - 6" of snow, and shot a lot of birds. I shot unusually well on this hunt, although I'm sure I'll come back to earth the next time out. I thought I would show a few pictures to show the way the club is set up. It really is a great place for bird hunting.
Good looking mixed habitat
The intended quarry
(NOTE - on all the photos I post, you should be able to click on them to see a larger picture)