Phinding Pheasants

SteveO

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I am new to hunting so I would appreciate advise on finding pheasants. I am not asking for anyone to give their spot, my question is a general one on what kind of cover should I be hunting?
I have tried this season and had some success and some failure. I have flushed 2 birds from the same field north of Niland. The rooster was on opening day and I missed him (twice!). The hen was on the second to last day and I will wait to meet her son next year. The field has no crops, it has weeds (dry grass and weeds with dry seed) that are knee high. The field is next to an irrigation canal and is also next to a private hunt club field and close to a pheasant farm. I wonder if the birds I found are escapees from either of these places.
The failure was to find or flush any birds from fields that had grown hay and had been harvested. I walked many fields that were SE,E and NE of El Centro. These fields had ankle high, dry, cut grass. I found a pair of fields seperated by an irrigation canal that had knee high weeds. I hunted all through the weeds along the edge of the field and walked across the field in some of the longer grass that had been cut. All the time I was looking down the rows but never saw any pheasants. I saw lots of small owls, some small hawks and a couple of large hamks.
I did check the rivers that feed the Salton Sea. The closer I got to a river the more NO HUNTING signs I found and besides even if I was able to shoot a bird I would never find it in the rough cover.
I did get 4 dove before 8am by hunting fields that had grown hay and had the stubble plowed back into the dirt. I would have had my limit if I hit everything I shot at but that's the fun of dove, it tests your skill and I will only get better with practice.
Other than putting time and money into a dog is there anything else I can be doing to improve my chances of flushing wild pheasants.
 



Swiss Lad

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Supposedly there are a bunch of Pheasants in the Imperial Valley.  I've seen very few around Niland but they are there.  The best Pheasant area I've heard is from Bonds Corner West to Forrester Rd below the 8.  The birds are in the huge grass patches, you need plenty of pushers (with dogs) and blockers to get it done.  Unless you get lucky and push just the right area, a single hunter without a dog is at a major disadvantage.  Being an Iowa hunter I've shot a lot of pheasants yet I've never shot one in California (that includes pet pheasants).  I've yet to figure out how a single hunter gets them here.  Let me know if you come up with something.
 

Fubar

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SteveO I have hunted Pheasants for years near El Centro and have found Pheasants everywhere. It used to be you could hunt any grass type crops that didnt have No Trespassing signs on them. Now the farmer who owns a lot of the land down there is trying to make money off the hunters and much of the good hunting is now posted unless you pay a fee. There are lots of birds in Lettuce and asparagus but the only crops the farmers will usually let you hunt in are the grasses (alphalfa, bermuda, and sudan grass). If you find Sudan grass that is a great place to hunt. Just make sure there are no fences or sheep in these fields. If you have a dog you can work the fields. If no dog then it might be better to kick the brush along the edges of fields or along the irrigation ditches. You can find Pheasants anywhere down there. Dont go in any fields that are being flooded either.              Fubar
 


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