Select A Pheasant Hunting Outfitter
By: Ultimate Pheasant Hunting
When you find an outfitter that meets your location and budget needs, ask for references. Also, ask for any type of marketing reference such as any print articles about them or a TV show they may have been featured on. Another source is to look on some internet outdoor bulletin boards and see of any of the regulars have heard of the outfitter and what they may say about them.
Check for the amenities you want. Make a list of what in absolutely necessary, and what you can do without if not offered. When you really get down to it, it is no different than looking for a hotel.
Take the time to ask as many questions as you need to ensure the pheasant hunting outfitter gives you a comfort level that you are searching for. It is natural to be nervous and hesitant, especially when making a decision sight unseen on an investment such as a 3-4 pheasant hunting trip. However, an outfitter that provides less than advertised services will not be in business long. It is safe to assume that most of the pheasant hunting outfitters that are rated high in the search engines, provide current references, and answer all of your questions are going to be a good bet to book a hunt with.
The bottom line, most outfitters are looking for a customer for life. Granted, not all pheasant hunters can afford to be repeat customers, but the outfitters want you to be treated as one. In the outfitting business, a happy customer can be a great marketing resource, sending many leads to the outfitter down the road.
A lot of you may have your own hunting buddy-the four-legged one. If you plan on taking your hunting dog on your pheasant hunting trip, there are a few things to keep in mind. Many outfitters provide their own pheasant hunting guides and dogs for your convenience, but many will accommodate your hunting dog(s) provided that they are up to date on vaccinations and have a certificate to prove it. This certificate is available from your vet. Also, any unruly and disruptive canines may be asked to remain in the kennels. The guides and their dogs are well trained and groomed tandems-they work daily together on all pheasant hunting commands.
Selecting a destination also requires smart travel planning. Some will drive 15 hours to reach their pheasant hunting destination of choice, others would rather take a 3 hour flight. In today's era of $3.00 per gallon gasoline, one needs to compute the length of their drive, the miles-per-gallon of their vehicle, and meal expense versus the cost of an airline ticket. Most outfitters will drive 2-3 hours to pick up their customers at the airport-this is something you will need to discuss ahead of time.
The amount of hunting gear you are bringing also is a factor in your decision. Airlines have new carry-on and stored bagged rules and requirements, and one needs to check ahead of time to see what their local carriers' rules are. Guns may be transported legally, but there are also strictly enforced regulations for them.
Dogs are a different story all together. Some airlines have stopped accepting live animals for transportation. Also, your dog may not be a very good air traveler, and may take a few days to adjust after the trauma of the transport, thus potentially souring your pheasant hunting experience. The best bet is to contact the airlines for their requirements, and discuss with your vet your intentions to travel via air and see what they recommend for your hunting dog.
Even though most of the states hunting seasons are about 12 weeks in length, this is usually a time of extreme climatic changes that can happen literally over night. For instance, in 2004, the opening weekend for pheasant hunting in South Dakota saw record high temps, and as a result of this, over 100 pheasant hunting dogs died in the near 90 degree heat. But, by the second week of November, the highs were in the single digits with snow and wind chills below zero.
Two things you can do are to research the local weather by visiting a website like the Weather Channel's at http://www.weather.com, or any other reputable weather site, and other sites such as the state page where the outfitter is located, and by asking the outfitter. But by all means, act like a Boy Scout-be prepared!
Check out the pheasant hunting outfitters on this site. Since we hunt with them, we know the quality product and service they provide. Here is a list of our feature pheasant hunting outfitters.