Last Saturday, I got the rare opportunity to hunt wild pheasants at one of the state pheasant production areas. On opening day, no less. It's 100 acres of the most beautiful pheasant habitat imaginable. There are standing milo and corn crops interspersed with thick grass and mowed strips intersecting it all to make it easier to control and push. We moved a total of 12 birds that morning, including 6 hens. And here I thought the odds of finding wild birds in Illinois were about the same as finding a wild, free-range T-rex. But no, it turns out that the birds just need a place suited for them to thrive, just like the guys at Pheasants Forever keep preaching. We managed to get two roosters total in the bag, and mine was served at the hunter's brunch at my house on Tuesday morning. It had been a long time, and fried pheasant had never tasted quite so good!
Here's Marty Davis and me, at the end of a long morning's walk: