I'm pretty new to upland hunting... this is my first year. Watching a gun dog show got me to thinking about drive-able pheasant hunts. The episode showed a hunt in KS (18 hour drive from me... way too far for a casual road trip). I found a map that'll draw a radius circle around a point and one that'll draw a drive time radius.
Most of the states "known" for pheasant hunting are hike from western PA.
Are there any locations outside of PA within approximately an 8 hour/500 mile drive from Pittsburgh area that are worth the effort for a pheasant/wild pheasant hunt? I realize that's kind of a vague question but I was hoping to spark a conversation on a slow rainy day at work.
If you are looking for a wild pheasant hunt in Pennsylvania you are out of luck.
But, if you are just looking for good pheasant hunting there are many places within a couple hours’ drive that have some excellent pheasant hunting. I had 245 pheasant up over my dog while hunting public land in the local area this fall.
I know a couple who went to South Dakota to hunt wild pheasants on their honeymoon a few year ago. After two days they came back to hunt on our local game lands. They said the pheasant hunting was much better here.
Check into Iowa. I went in 2008 with 2 buddies and had a great time. We rented an old farmhouse in Northeastern part of the state that had 60 acres and other than hunting around the house a few times we hunted public land. It worked out to be under $700 a person for the entire trip everything included for a week long trip. It may be a little higher today due to the increased price of gas. If I remember the trip was about 17hrs for us from Southeast PA but we were not in that much of a hurry and took our time getting out there. From Pittsburgh you can shave off 5 to 6 hours drive time. Still above your 8 hour drive but not too much more. I can provide the info for the place we stayed if you are interested.
I'd probably choose western Iowa as the closest best bet for wild birds though I've read that over the past 5 to 10 years Iowa has also seen a dramatic decline in pheasant numbers due to changes in AG practices.
Check out this pheasant hunting in Montana, really makes me want to relocate;