Several years back, a group of friends and I spent a lot of time hunting ring-necked pheasants in southern Minnesota. While shimmering fields of grass are what pheasant hunters tend to think about when they picture a hunt, there were few available where we hunted. No matter. By talking to landowners and obtaining permission to walk the vegetated buffer strips that separated their crop fields from ditches, we flushed and shot plenty of birds. And since the available habitat was relatively narrow, having a dog wasn’t a requirement (though watching good dogs work is about the most enjoyable part of upland bird hunting).

Joe Albert