DNR Offers Tips for Pheasant Hunters
UNDATED -- As the pheasant hunting season opens Saturday, the Minnesota DNR has some tips for hunters as they search for the elusive "Ringneck."
The DNR says pheasants are creatures of habit. They follow a regular routine where they leave cover in the morning to feed, head back to thick, dense cover for the day until they feed again in the last hour of the day...also known as the "golden hour."
Be ready to hunt at 9:00 a.m. to catch the birds returning to cover and don't miss the last part of the day when some of the best hunting takes place.
Remember to be quiet because pheasants use hearing as their main defense mechanism against danger.
Hunt slowly and in a zig-zag pattern. Even the most wily roosters can be scared up if you move slowly enough.
The DNR says pheasants are "edge birds" so look for habitat transitions like crops to grass, brush, fence lines and ditches.
Look for grassy patches in picked corn fields, don't hunt standing corn fields on windy days and keep hunters at the edges fields if you are hunting row crops to catch the birds as they run down the rows to escape.
Finally, always be aware of your surroundings. Know where other hunters and their dogs are positioned at all times.