As I contemplate my recreational options for the first weekend in January, my pheasant hunting choices are rapidly disappearing. Pheasant hunting in my home state of Minnesota closed on New Year’s Day not to reopen till mid-October; ten long months away. So now what do I do with my weekends?
The author’s German shorthair pup, “Izzy,” loves pheasant hunting and doesn’t want her first season to end. Photo by Anthony Hauck / Pheasants Forever
Although Kansas and Nebraska have provided excellent January destinations for me in the past, I don’t have the time available this year to make those trips from my Minnesota home.
Both South Dakota and North Dakota’s seasons extend through Sunday, while Iowa’s continues through the 10th of January, so this trio of states does indeed provide a more manageable option from Minnesota.
Local game farm hunt clubs also provide a closer, yet pricier, alternative to run my pair of shorthairs and shoulder the scattergun. While the hunting isn’t near as challenging as a wild bird adventure, my dogs delight in January and February days filled with a nose full of pheasant at the local hunt club.
The reality of my situation is one we all confront this time of year, the winding down of pheasant season and the ten month wait for another opening day.
What do you do when your state’s pheasant hunting closes for the year? Do you travel to a different state, hit the game farm, find a friend with a beagle to chase rabbits or drill a hole in the ice and go fishing?