If you want to try pheasant hunting, the youth seasons for licensed hunters 17 and under run from October 2-8. Young people must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older. Adult seasons vary across the state depending on the region and whether the hunter is a resident or a non-resident. Check the Highland Game, Turkey, and Furbearers Seasons and Rules Booklet for more information on pheasant seasons.
Collared pheasants were first introduced to Oregon from China in 1881. Since then, pheasants have been introduced across the country. These prized game birds are a treat to hunt and eat. To be successful in hunting, you need to know the habitat and behavior of your prey. Let’s take a look at this fall hunting staple. In Idaho, collar pheasants are widely distributed in agricultural areas mixed with taller vegetation. Look for them along rural roads, overgrown and recently harvested fields, brushy areas and rows of fences. Pheasants can be found along the Snake River Plain from the Oregon border to central Idaho.
They occur in lower densities in agricultural habitats below 5,000 feet in eastern Idaho and below 4,000 feet in northern Idaho, from Benewah County south to Whitebird . The highest pheasant harvest usually occurs in the Southwest, Magic Valley, and Southeast regions. Some of the best hunts are found off the beaten path and on private land where most of the best habitat is found. Hunters willing to walk and knock on doors can be successful.
An important habitat requirement for pheasants is dense cover. The nesting blanket should be at least 18 inches high. The nest is a shallow depression made by the female. Usually 10 to 12 eggs are laid, but sometimes two hens use the same nest. This can increase the number of eggs found in a nest to 23. In about 24 days the eggs will hatch.
The young are precocious, which means that they are able to walk and find food on their own right after hatching. A permanent cover that provides protection from winter weather is also important. Winter shelters can be found in bushes and trees along streams, windbreaks and fences.
Pheasants need plenty of food and water. They feed on the ground on cereals, seeds and insects. A good place to look for pheasants are fields harvested with corn, wheat and barley scraps.
Pheasants usually walk or run. They fly when disturbed at close range. Strong breast muscles provide bursts of power. Pheasants are capable of a breathtaking flush. They launch themselves almost vertically at speeds close to 40 miles per hour. The launch is impressive, but they cannot fly great distances. Pheasants generally do not cover more than 200 meters in a single flight. Hunters with a good pointing dog or those who are quick at the draw will have the greatest success in getting a shot.