Top 5 States for Pheasant Hunting

By author of Turkey Blog with Steve Hickoff

Places Where You'll Find Good Pheasant Hunting


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1 | Kansas

Public land rules in Kansas. The availability of walk-in opportunities here for the average hunter to find good habitat is the main draw. It's why Kansas makes our top five. 

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According to their recent pheasant forecast and Jeff Prendergast, small game specialist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, "Kansas continues to maintain one of the best pheasant populations in the country, and the fall harvest will again be among the leading states.”

Go here for the full Pheasants Forever forecast for Kansas pheasant hunting this year.

(© Images On The Wildside photo)


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South Dakota

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2 | South Dakota

No respectable post on pheasant hunting opportunities would be complete without including South Dakota, the hands-down mecca for such upland bird hunting opportunities in my lifetime.

That said, in full disclosure, here's the good with the bad. First, the latter.

Tough winters and drought conditions, along with habitat loss, aren't helping South Dakota's fabled pheasant hunting numbers.

On the upside, available public hunting land, and better opportunities for ringnecks than almost anywhere else in the United States, say South Dakota still rules.

I mean, after all, the ring-necked pheasant is still the state bird.

Go here for Pheasants Forever's full forecast on South Dakota's pheasant hunting this year.

(© Images On The Wildside photo)

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3 | Nebraska

Cornhusker roosters are in the game plan for many each season.

According to Pheasants Forever, this year should be fairly similar to last year, as noted in their recent pheasant hunting forecast for Nebraska.

Nebraska Game and Parks offers even more insight in their 2017 Upland Game Hunting Outlook.

(© Images On The Wildside photo)

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4 | Iowa

Iowa is one of those states that immediately comes to mind when you bring up pheasant hunting opportunities.

The good news is conditions seem to be coming together for a solid pheasant season.

(© Logan Hinners)


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5 | Montana

Drought conditions are challenging pheasant hunting management numbers in many states, and Montana is no exception.

Still, good hunting is where you make it.

Pheasants Forever has a mixed report, depending on the region. That said, opportunities rule.

(© Images On The Wildside photo)

Your state pick didn't make the top five? There might be a good reason or two why. Pheasants Forever's state-by-state pheasant hunting forecast.

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Pheasant hunting, like that for wild turkeys and other upland game birds, relies on available habitat, game management strategies and annual brood-hatch success around the country.

Check out our top five states for pheasant hunting this year based on available data.

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