I have come to know that pheasants have magical survival powers. To wit:
When I walk my dogs around my own place in the late fall we’ll often be granted two or three from-your-feet rooster flushes. However, should the yearning for pheasant cacciatore be on my mind, and a 12 gauge in my hands on these walks, there are never, ever any roosters around. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
A few years back I was hunting pheasants in southern Iowa. Just me and my Setter. Well ahead of us a rooster flushed and flew right up into a huge oak tree. Aha! I thought, even I can make this shot. But as we approached the tree the bird would hop around on its branches using the main trunk to hide from us. When I’d walk around to the far side the bird, like a squirrel, would disappear on the opposite side. Onto his game, I sent my dog to the far side. Nope, the dog isn’t carrying a gun so I’ll just stay on this side and scold him, said Mr. Cock. After a half hour of this frustration, Prince and I congratulated the wily old bird and just walked away.
Many years ago in Kansas a buddy and I got a classy point out of his bird dog. When five roosters flushed there was a pure white one in their midst. Our jaws dropped and our guns never got shouldered. Were the four multi-colored roosters using their albino pal for protection? You decide.
On a hunt in southwestern Minnesota I made a typical shot for me – just winged him. The merry chase was on with my English Setter running a close second. Round and round on the picked corn they ran. Each running of the circular path brought Mr. Rooster closer to a gravel road. On about the fifth pass he took a hard right and ducked into a culvert just small enough to preclude my dog. I looked in one end of the tube and Prince looked in the other. He was staying put and I swear I could hear that pheasant chuckling.