Pheasant Hunting Forecast 2017

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Explore all the news from pheasant country, plan your hunts, and keep autumn traditions alive.

By Tom Carpenter

Deepest winter, and its impact on pheasant survival, is long gone. Spring, and how it affected the bird hatch, is a distant memory. Summer, and how it helped or hindered chick survival, is over. Now all that remains is fall and early winter … pheasant season.
 
It’s the time we as upland hunters, and ringneck fans, live for. Pheasants Forever’s 2017 Fall Hunting Forecast, an annual undertaking of epic proportions, runs down the pheasant news and insights you need to complete your fall trip planning, get excited for the upland action to come in your home state, or both.
 
With a topic as localized as pheasant reproduction, it can be dangerous to make any kind of broad generalizations. Challenges in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Montana, for instance, are quite different than the opportunities in say Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado. Michigan’s exciting Pheasant Restoration Initiative seems to be paying rooster dividends. That’s why we cover each state in detail.
 
On the other hand, there are some pretty clear takeaways from the reports that follow. Here are three simple truths:
 
Pheasant hunting is never easy, and it won’t be this year. Counts are down in some of the pheasant kingdoms. But birds are there and hunt we must.
 
Regions and pockets of real promise exist across the pheasant range. Part of the hunting challenge is working to find birds. We hope these reports help in that endeavor.
 
No combination of mild winter weather or ideal hatch and brooding conditions are going to help pheasant populations if there is not adequate quantity and quality of habitat on the ground.
 
That last point is why you are, or should be, a voice for America’s uplands – a Pheasants Forever Member.
 
Habitat on the ground. Places to hunt. A bird dog coursing the cover. Roosters in the air.
 
Autumn traditions are here. Live them now. Work to keep them alive.
 

FULL MAP

 

CALIFORNIA

COLORADO

IDAHO

ILLINOIS

IOWA

KANSAS

MICHIGAN

MINNESOTA

MISSOURI

MONTANA

NEBRASKA

NORTH DAKOTA

OHIO

OKLAHOMA

OREGON

SOUTH DAKOTA

TEXAS

UTAH

WASHINGTON

WISCONSIN

Tom Carpenter is Digital Content Manager for Pheasants Forever.