Pheasant Hunting Regulations
After waterfowl, pheasants are among the most popular hunted birds in U.S.; a huge population, relatively flexible regulations and a bird providing a real challenge for hunters make of this species a real attractive one for those challenging their skills.
With the above in mind is not a surprise that pheasant hunters amount increases year after year and thus regulations are necessary in order to keep pheasant population stable and render this type of hunting sustainable.
Despite of it, regulations are not as hard as in other species, particularly because pheasants reproductive pattern allows to keep population high even when hunting pressure exists, that's because of three main strategies:
- Seasonal hunting
- Bag limit
- Cocks only policy
Even when some other regulation may exist depending of the state you are hunting on, overall the above mentioned are a constant on almost each state with pheasants and despite of minor differences, general guidelines are the same.
Let's take as example Kansas Pheasant Hunting regulations.
On Kansas the keystone of this policy is the cocks only hunting. Pheasant are polygamous, meaning that a single cock mates several hens; thus if only cocks are hunt, those remaining alive at the end of the season will be able to keep the population mating with more hens each.
The only way to fail would be a total annihilation of male pheasants, something impossible considering the bag limit of 4 birds per day (it may vary season to season and state to state).
The bag limit is based on the total birds population and the average number of hunters on a particular state. The bag limit is set on a point not representing excessive pressure to reproductive cocks.
Usually this bag is 4 birds per day for each hunter. It might seem too small but not all hunters will be able to complete it.
However if 100% of hunters reach the daily bag limit day after day, all along the season, at the end there will be enough cocks to mate hens and keep population stable and even bigger for the next season.
Finally the season is relatively short, beginning late fall (November second half) and ending in January, less than 10 weeks of pressure, allowing bird to couple on spring for repopulation.
Keep in mind that season dates and bag limits change on each state yearly, so be aware of current season dates and limits on the state you are planning to hunt this year.
Regarding permission, none is required if you are hunting on public lands but is mandatory on private lands. Once again consult local regulations for updated information on this regard.
Last thing to do is prepare yourself, make a last minute check of this years regulations and set up everything to go out for those birds!