Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 49

Thread: 1,2,3+ year old pheasants

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    3,702

    Default 1,2,3+ year old pheasants

    A5, I want to keep the "live pheasant photo" thread as clean as possible with live pheasant photos so we can discuss your questions further within this thread.

    Not calling BS here; I simply don't know what the truth is. I assume you're talking about pen-raised (basically pet) birds
    I wasn't. I was talking about 3+ year old wild birds.

    otherwise you wouldn't know their ages.
    On dead birds, necks get girth, chests get very heavy compared to younger birds, primary wing feathers are much larger and longer than that on younger birds, some flank feathers will be more distinct and larger, often larger fans, and spurs between a 1,2 year bird vs. 3+ are fairly obvious. Hooked spurs are a dead giveaway of a old bird, though not all will develop a hook. Some will remain straight, long, and very pointy. Basically the entire appearance looks "mature" if that makes sense.

    In live birds, the beat of their wing differs, their flight and walk appear "heavy", their run is a bit slower and very "waddled".

    Most wild birds don't make it 1 year, much less 3 or 4.
    That's correct, "most" do not. But, some do. Rarely will a wild bird live 3+ years. But some do. One of these days I'll get my pheasant videos back on line. One of my videos shows the difference between a live wild 2 year old bird and a 3+ year old wild pheasant. The maturer bird looks and moves like a mature 3+ year old bird. Both wild birds I observed over the course of those years in the wild.

    I suspect the only way a rooster in the "wild" could make it 3 years is if his environment wasn't really all that wild
    .

    Habitat, weather, food, and a smart bird can be a recipe for an old bird--in the wild

    But I've never heard that pheasants NEED to peck in order to keep their beaks from over-growing.
    Think about all the grit and ground that a pheasant pecks at every day plus the hard, dried out grain and everything else they peck at day-in and day-out. If a pheasants beak didn't continually grow it would be a nub by the end of the summer. Nothing would be left.

    A side note; I had a parrot as a kid. We kept a piece of volcanic rock on a rope within his cage. He champed at it a bit here and there. That kept his beak trimmed. If not for that rock, his beak would have kept growing.


    Can anyone substantiate this?
    I hope I did A5. Maybe if you have any further questions regarding wild pheasants you can feel free to ask me? By no means do I know as much as some the other members floating around here but I'm glad to answer basic pheasant questions for you.

    If you'd like, take notice of the way this rooster runs. He's a wild rooster living (of all places) in Detroit. Yes they have wild pheasants living down there. For example purposes only, take a look at this birds movements. Can you see the heavy waddle in his run? This is a characteristic of a old bird. Girthy, mature, heavy chested, heavy waddle as he runs--even a bit slow compared to a younger bird's run.

    https://youtu.be/Iy7NyqHC2FM?t=8s
    Last edited by 1pheas4; 01-05-2017 at 08:21 AM.
    "Through license fees and excise tax on arms and gear, sportsmen contribute over $200 million per year for wildlife conservation programs" (U.S. fish and wildlife service)

    http://www.pheasantfreaks.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Denver-Metro, CO
    Posts
    172

    Default

    Thanks 1pheas4 for this info, I don't know much about the life cycle of pheasants I guess if I truly want to be a better hinter I should learn as much as possible about all aspects of this very interesting creature Thanks again I really appreciate the knowledge that is so freely shared on here!!

    Rich
    "If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    881

    Default

    1p4, first, thanks for moving this to a separate topic. Second, thanks for taking the time to splain some stuff. All pretty reasonable, although I'll stand by my statement that a "wild" bird living 3-4 years probably isn't living under very difficult conditions (while still wild). I have to remind myself that the conditions I'm used to in South Dakota don't define that term. Anyway, very interesting way of thinking about the beak growth question. Totally makes sense. Now you've got me wondering, though, how many birds in SD make it 3-4 years. I suppose a few might if they live someplace that never gets hunted, has great cover, and where predators are controlled. In 35 years of hunting & probably in the ballpark of 1,000 roosters, I've only shot maybe 3 birds that I thought MAY have been in their 3rd season (so at most 2.5 years old). I thought this primarily because the spurs had begun to curl a little. All others I'm quite sure have been young-of-the-year or 2nd-year birds. Being in South Dakota & hunting almost exclusively public land, the birds I'm used to just don't have great longevity.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    3,702

    Default

    Given that you've killed 1,000 wild pheasants, I'd have to say you've had a few in the mix that were older than 2.

    I've taken two such birds in SD (one on public land), three here in McHenry County IL.

    If I get some time next week I'd like to lay a 1,2,3+ aged birds side by side so you can see the difference between them.

    Memories; You've watched those late season roosters flush at the opposite end of the field before you step foot in it. Maybe one or two of them with tails wagging back and forth as they flush. Nice full, heavy looking bodies. They don't look like the other birds around them. They stand out from the others. Those are old birds. If hunting pressure gets to be too much they'll stay away until things calm down. They know where to go, when to go, where to find suitable habitat within an area for every condition. Spring time rolls around, they're the dominate roosters. They'll stake out the best habitat, collect the strongest, healthiest hens to mate with. Come fall, the results are always a good time.
    "Through license fees and excise tax on arms and gear, sportsmen contribute over $200 million per year for wildlife conservation programs" (U.S. fish and wildlife service)

    http://www.pheasantfreaks.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Janesville Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,007

    Default

    Any correlation between a white tip on the spur and age?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    881

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wisturkeyhunter View Post
    Any correlation between a white tip on the spur and age?
    Yes & no, I think. In general terms, older birds will have blacker spurs. But then once they reach a certain age/length, I see them all black as well as white-tipped, or all pretty light. I've seen some that were real light colored but very long - obviously (I think anyway) not young of the year birds. I've also seen large-ish birds with black, not-all-that-long, but very sharp spurs. I also consider those 2nd year birds.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    INVER GROVE HEIGHTS,MN
    Posts
    1,473

    Default

    I usually kill 2-3 2 year old roosters a year about half inch spurs & pointed/sharp & a couple 3/4 inch or danb near 3/4 inch spurred roosters a season I call them 3 year old +. All I hunt is public lands I have no knowledge of private land & how long they live & spur lengths... Them white tips on spur's break off 1st so no real age identifation there...

    Latest season u cn see the size & difference in looks of roosters on some of them massive cluster flushes...

    Age & Spur color have no real after this age they turn white or red etc. Its genetic... Shot whited spured nub young birds the bird i shot with 4 spurs was white spurred & of public land...

    I've only seen maybe 180-200 dead birds after I got my dog all public... I'm into color variations & phases as much very beautiful birds to look at all around...
    Last edited by small munsterlander owner; 01-05-2017 at 06:22 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    INVER GROVE HEIGHTS,MN
    Posts
    1,473

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 1pheas4 View Post
    Given that you've killed 1,000 wild pheasants, I'd have to say you've had a few in the mix that were older than 2.

    I've taken two such birds in SD (one on public land), three here in McHenry County IL.

    If I get some time next week I'd like to lay a 1,2,3+ aged birds side by side so you can see the difference between them.

    Memories; You've watched those late season roosters flush at the opposite end of the field before you step foot in it. Maybe one or two of them with tails wagging back and forth as they flush. Nice full, heavy looking bodies. They don't look like the other birds around them. They stand out from the others. Those are old birds. If hunting pressure gets to be too much they'll stay away until things calm down. They know where to go, when to go, where to find suitable habitat within an area for every condition. Spring time rolls around, they're the dominate roosters. They'll stake out the best habitat, collect the strongest, healthiest hens to mate with. Come fall, the results are always a good time.

    I have a pic of a few birds harvested last WK of MN & SD season I think are 3... I have a bunch of 2 year olds & a couple younger I'll line em up age wise & shoot ya a pic to share if u wanted 1pheas4 don't know how to posts pics don't care to learn but I'd be happy to share & admit I'm wrong on age class...

    But if a pheasant spur has length enuff to cause damage to your hand & or fight off a wild turkey he gotta be older the 2...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Mid Missouri
    Posts
    788

    Default Like these?

    These spurs were rather long on an older bird. Completely white. I think its more genetic on the spur color. Some are real dark, others are grayish. I've killed ones with smaller white ones too, but these were good ones.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Some people talk about it, some people live it!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    881

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PheasantWhisperer View Post
    These spurs were rather long on an older bird. Completely white. I think its more genetic on the spur color. Some are real dark, others are grayish. I've killed ones with smaller white ones too, but these were good ones.
    Yep, those are good ones. Now to me, if that bird had come from SD, it would've been a 2nd year bird - at most 1.5 years old.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •