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This may be a dumb question but how much do ringneck pheasants use woody cover and thickets?

I know today the the thinking is planting corn and switchgrass for good pheasant cover but do birds use woody cover along the edges of fields?

I guess they don't because the WPRAs with more grassy cover do better than ones with more brush and woods?
 

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Fencerows and shetlerbelt type cover mizxed with trees I think gets used but on the whole I don't think woodland edges get used to much except if it's the only decent cover available. I've seen some released birds wandering thru the woods a time or two but I just think these were birds that were totally bewildered at their new environment or were flushed into there recently.
 

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I can't even count how many pheasants I have killed in woodlots once they were presured, they also feed in woodlots. These were wild birds not stocked btw.
 

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Having shot released Pa. pheasants with grapes in their crops...they use whatever habitat provides something they need. From escape to food to cover.

Deeply wooded waterways and plum thickets in Iowa are, or were actually, wonderful cover to hunt.
 

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Pheasants use woody cover in most of their range. Shelter belts are some of best places to find them. The woody cover is low and has good ground cover. Open mature woods isn't used.
 

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I have gotten pheasant in wooded areas with little undercover. Their crops were full of beech nuts. I am sure they were there just for the food opportunity. There was heavy cover nearby.
 

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Most of the birds I got last year came out of thick woody cover loaded with greenbriar and honeysuckle. It could be that the birds got pushed to this area, but I find that the birds hold tighter in this type of cover. This allows the dog to get a solid point on the bird.

I got a few out of fields to, but most flushed out of range after running. I probably saw more birds in the fields, but harvested more from the woods.

Great question with some good answers.
 
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