pheasants



Pheasants though not a native American bird, the ringneck or China pheasant is an import from the Far East. He's done much better in the face of stiff competition with predators and the advance of civilization than any of the other imports and will also probably survive much longer than any of our native game species. He has to contend with hunters, real estate developers, dogs, housecats, game poachers and attacks of disease, droughts, fires and floods, but does well in spite of them all.

male pheasant Pheasants though not a native American bird, the ringneck or China pheasant is an import from the Far East. He's done much better in the face of stiff competition with predators and the advance of civilization than any of the other imports and will also probably survive much longer than any of our native game species. He has to contend with hunters, real estate developers, dogs, housecats, game poachers and attacks of disease, droughts, fires and floods, but does well in spite of them all.

He is the easiest of all game birds to recognize, since there is no other upland game bird with a bright green head and neck supported by a white ring at its base. His barred, unusually long and broad tail is his second fast identifying feature. He's a big bird, weighing from two to three pounds, which is larger than a grouse and about half as big as the usual wild turkey.

Ringneck is the most popular hunting bird of all found in natural "native" stock throughout the northern states and as far south as Florida. He has traveled west to California, Oregon and Washington, either by natural breeding or by conservation truck. Where he is shot out or dies out from disease or other causes, he is easily restocked by private or other governmental agencies.

Commercial shooting preserves stock this bird in their covers where shooting is heavy and constant during the fall and winter months. In areas close to the big cities, where shooting pressure is too great in open lands, the shooting preserve and the ringneck is the only answer to shooting sport.

"Chink" is a grand bird, rising in a flurry of feathers, cackles and wingbeats dragging his magnificent tail and often waving it in a hunter's face. Best hunting is with a bird dog from the little cocker spaniel to the bigger pointers and setters. The birds are usually quite gregarious, and it is often possible to flush as many as ten at a time.

pheasantf6 Best territory for their natural growth is in the corn and wheat-belt states of the midwest. They do well also in areas where the foliage is fairly broken between forest and farmland and where there are fields broken by strips of trees and brush.

This bird is a hybrid of many species, but now has become a distinct species here in America. It is a cross between the English pheasant and the Mongolian pheasant, all quite similar in appearance. Since the strains have been intermingled over a period of time, they have developed into a strong bird which resists disease and has become smart in the face of encroaching civilization. They are often found nesting in the broken country-like patches of fields between private homes and often seen flying across main traffic arteries such as the modern parkways.

When hunted over to any extent the wild birds become very smart and crafty. They will run well ahead of even the best of bird dogs and escape. They will also fly low when flushed, keeping the dog in the line of the gun, thus causing the shooter to withhold his fire from fear of killing or wounding the animal.

Pheasant are easily pen-raised even by amateurs and many farmers raise them for the market and the table. 4H Clubs across the nation have a pheasant-raising course and contests to develop interest in aiding the conservation departments. Many states encourage 4H-clubbers by offering to pay them for raising the birds from the eggs to maturity and to help stock them in local cover.

Judged the most beautiful of all the hunting fowl, the pheasant is a godsend to our country. The male averages about two and three-quarter pounds and specimens in good wild cover usually weigh a bit more.

One of the easiest birds to locate and identify, they offer the best opportunity for the beginner at spotting and hunting. They are also very good for training the young hunting dog.



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