With a helicopter rise at the flush preceding its zippy horizontal flight for yonder, a long tail that’s distracted more than a few hunters to miss and a cackle that mocks when you do, this gaudy bird reigns the world of upland bird hunting. So popular is this bird in the vast plains of the Midwest that opening day is legitimate cause to skip school, work, church and afternoon college football. If you’ve ever been to an opening day in Pierre, South Dakota, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.
Most often a club or family activity, with lines of hunters on one end of a grain field and blockers on the other walking toward each other to “squeeze” the birds to flight and high-flying vertical shots coming fast and furious. You can also hunt them solo or with a best friend or two, long walks in good edge cover for the singular flush here and there … but add in a high-tailed English pointer or a close-working flushing cocker spaniel and you’ll have days afield you’ll never forget.
For more information, see our friends at Pheasants Forever.