I normally work Saturdays but used to take a vacation day for pheasant opener. No longer. Now I work Sat.
I do head out for a quick 45 min to an hour hunt at the end of the day opening Sat. Have had fairly good luck last few years. Most guys are done by that time and if you find the right spot I can usually find a bird or two even if the ground had already been walked.
Similar thing Sunday of opener. Duck hunt in the morning, golf around noon, pheasant hunt the very end of the day to avoid the crowds.
Our group still goes out every opener, we have a spot that is pretty secluded and only has two parking areas and no bordering roads. we usually have 1-2 trucks at each parking area and really don't have to worry about the mobs of people, they drive down see trucks and back out. With that being said, any spot that is surrounded by roads with multiple access points is where you run into problems of having multiple groups on a piece that is to small for even 2 groups at the same time. I will either move on or convince the other group that showed up late that the piece is to small for additional groups to hunt it safely and go from there.
I always avoid the first week of season no matter what state for hunting pheasants. Usually start with the Monday of the second week, even in MT. Don't know if it is true or not but I've heard that half of the birds shot in SD are shot during the opening week.
I don't follow the implication that forgoing an opener is akin to sinning, and that we'd need to "confess"! I hunt several openers each year...when I went to Montana early in September, I didn't hunt the opener...I let weather dictate...a few days later I was in ND, and it so happened I was there for the sharptail and hun opener...don't think I saw another hunter in the field in either state in the 10 days I was hunting...one of the reasons I hunt prairie birds. I will be back in ND early next week, there will be more hunters around due to duck season opening this saturday...I will not be duck hunting, but it will be busier...then, on the 10th, pheasant opens...more hunters, but that's OK, I tend to hunt where most guys aren't...then, on the 17th, I will be in SD for their pheasant opener...not that many hunters there, either, at least where I am; part of it is I own land and hunt that, but even so, not a ton of guys...some, yes, but we usually camp out at public land a few hours before legal shooting and we normally get our spot...to each his own...I have known some older, retired guys over the years that do sit out various openers (not deer!) to let the working guys and kids get the spots...