I've been hunting them just about every day, with the exception of January 1st, in some of the best pheasant hunting and most heavily stocked areas of the state. There are still some pheasants out there but boy are they getting hard to get close to. The ones that are still left out there have figured out how to avoid hunters.
In three and half hours yesterday I only had one bird up and it didn't go into the air until it was out of range. We chased another one around in a warm season grass field for a about a half hour, with a dozen different good solid points, but each time it ran off instead of flushing until it had finally outsmarted the dog and I. We simply couldn't find it after half hour a several hundred yards of running around in circles through the field.
In three and half hours today we had two in the air but both were out of range. One ran for hundreds of yards through a slashing until it was a hundred yards away then flushed. The other ran for hundreds of yards of circles through a switch grass field then flushed fifty yards away and headed into the slashings. We ran a third one for hundreds of yards but never got to see it. I don't know if it flushed out of sight and hearing or if it just finally out maneuvered the dog and he couldn't figure out where it went.
The ones that are left in hunting areas at this late stage of the season have figured out how to avoid getting shot. There are still a lot of them down in the valley along the road and around the backyard bird feeders. I am sure I could find some of them in places legal to hunt on the game lands if I were willing to risk running my dog that close to the road. But, my dog has no road experience and no road caution. He would almost certainly run right out in front of a car so those birds will remain safe from us.
I'll continue to chase the ones out there that are well away from the road for a while yet and probably even harvest a few more but it is certainly not easy anymore.