Planning public land pheasants

Migrator

FNG
Joined
Nov 22, 2023
Messages
13
Planning a pheasant trip for this upcoming fall. I've got a 6 month old PP pup and want to get him on wild birds in his first full season. I'd like to do public, and have been looking at Kansas as it's within a day's drive from where I live in middle TN...but have been hearing mixed reports from what seems like the whole state.

Would appreciate any tips on general areas or any recommendations. Always open to new ideas.
 

Fishn4eyes

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Mar 19, 2013
Messages
194
Location
Helena, Montana
Not nearly as close but both N and S Dakota make it very easy to do a DIY hunt.

Both states put out lots of great information regarding access and it can easily be done.

I made two trips to S Dakota and one to N Dakota this year with my 2 YO lab and we had an absolute blast and got a limit every day. Certainly wasn't easy hunting but if you are willing to put in the effort it is very do-able.

Sorry, I don't know a damn thing about hunting birds in KS, only deer.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2021
Messages
2,888
Location
Western Iowa
Iowa has had 4 excellent nesting years in a row and bird numbers have been up significantly over the 10 year average. If you can hunt during the week, you shouldn't have any problem finding plenty of public land to hunt for birds. My buddy rents out a cabin for cheap on the south edge of Dunbar Slough in West Central Iowa in Greene County. We hunt "his place" all season long and pick up birds. There are 4 or 5 public hunting areas included in the slough across a 4-5 miles north/south area. The focus is primarily waterfowl production, but each one of the areas has great upland habitat as well. PM me if you're interested.
 
OP
M

Migrator

FNG
Joined
Nov 22, 2023
Messages
13
Iowa has had 4 excellent nesting years in a row and bird numbers have been up significantly over the 10 year average. If you can hunt during the week, you shouldn't have any problem finding plenty of public land to hunt for birds. My buddy rents out a cabin for cheap on the south edge of Dunbar Slough in West Central Iowa in Greene County. We hunt "his place" all season long and pick up birds. There are 4 or 5 public hunting areas included in the slough across a 4-5 miles north/south area. The focus is primarily waterfowl production, but each one of the areas has great upland habitat as well. PM me if you're interested

Sounds interesting. I'm still in FNG jail, so not sure if you can shoot me a PM.
 

Old Dog

FNG
Joined
Aug 18, 2023
Messages
39
Southwestern Nebraska was bleak last year and it remains to be seen what it will be like this year. The combination of bad drought in the summer of 22, a harsh 22-23 winter and high predator numbers really hammered the population. It will take some time to bounce back.
 

98589

FNG
Joined
Feb 24, 2024
Messages
22
Iowa has had 4 excellent nesting years in a row and bird numbers have been up significantly over the 10 year average. If you can hunt during the week, you shouldn't have any problem finding plenty of public land to hunt for birds. My buddy rents out a cabin for cheap on the south edge of Dunbar Slough in West Central Iowa in Greene County. We hunt "his place" all season long and pick up birds. There are 4 or 5 public hunting areas included in the slough across a 4-5 miles north/south area. The focus is primarily waterfowl production, but each one of the areas has great upland habitat as well. PM me if you're interested.
I would ditto much of this in southish central Iowa to Northeast corner and a bit around i80 & 61
 

30338

WKR
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
1,888
I would not go to Kansas at this point. I would consider strongly Iowa and SD. I hunted SD last year and we had plenty of birds. Hunted and farmed a bit in KS last year and in the areas of central and western KS I was in, birds were extremely scarce. Its gonna take years to recover.

Good luck and congrats on the new pup. It'll learn a lot this year with exposure.
 

TSAMP

WKR
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
1,468
All I'm saying is if this was a guy looking for elk instead of pheasant many of you would be far less helpful. Specifically naming of areas.

Meh
 

Kurts86

WKR
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
350
My experience is that Kansas is really only worth pheasant hunting at peak years every decade or so and meanwhile everyone I know who is serious about pheasants goes to SD or ND annually.

If you are already making a big drive just go another 6 hours to get to the best opportunities. It’s marginally more effort for substantially better opportunities.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2021
Messages
2,888
Location
Western Iowa
All I'm saying is if this was a guy looking for elk instead of pheasant many of you would be far less helpful. Specifically naming of areas.

Meh
I agree in overall concept. However, pheasants are far different than elk in terms of behavior and reaction to pressure. In addition, the public is the best (only) cover around and the birds can't go hide on "private".

The place I mentioned has multiple vehicles parked at every public entrace on opening weekend. After that it tails off dramatically. My buddy's acreage is on the south end of one of the largest pieces, and we can literally walk out his backdoor from his acreage onto the public. We've killed roosters from day one through the last day of the season even during mediocre years after its been hammered all season. Thus the risk of sharing is pretty low in this example.
 

TSAMP

WKR
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
1,468
I agree in overall concept. However, pheasants are far different than elk in terms of behavior and reaction to pressure.

The place I mentioned has multiple vehicles parked at every public entrace on opening weekend. After that it tails off dramatically. My buddy's acreage is on the south end of one of the largest pieces, and we can literally walk out his backdoor from his acreage onto the public. We've killed roosters from day one through the last day of the season even during mediocre years after its been hammered all season. Thus the risk of sharing is pretty low in this example.
10-4. I'll let you know how me and all my buddies do. Maybe ill see ya out there.

🙂 just teasing abit
 
OP
M

Migrator

FNG
Joined
Nov 22, 2023
Messages
13
Not nearly as close but both N and S Dakota make it very easy to do a DIY hunt.

Both states put out lots of great information regarding access and it can easily be done.

I made two trips to S Dakota and one to N Dakota this year with my 2 YO lab and we had an absolute blast and got a limit every day. Certainly wasn't easy hunting but if you are willing to put in the effort it is very do-able.

Sorry, I don't know a damn thing about hunting birds in KS, only deer.
Appreciate it!
My experience is that Kansas is really only worth pheasant hunting at peak years every decade or so and meanwhile everyone I know who is serious about pheasants goes to SD or ND annually.

If you are already making a big drive just go another 6 hours to get to the best opportunities. It’s marginally more effort for substantially better opportunities.
Seems to be the consensus for sure.
 

98589

FNG
Joined
Feb 24, 2024
Messages
22
All I'm saying is if this was a guy looking for elk instead of pheasant many of you would be far less helpful. Specifically naming of areas.

Meh
I'm 'meh' to that concept. Elk, pheasant, trout, caves, watering holes, sushi joints, hole in the walls and ex's...

...I'm ok sharing something I've experienced and moved on from!
 

TSAMP

WKR
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
1,468
I'm 'meh' to that concept. Elk, pheasant, trout, caves, watering holes, sushi joints, hole in the walls and ex's...

...I'm ok sharing something I've experienced and moved on from!
I'm happy for you.
 
Top