Where to go?

kuk kuk

Member
I am an avid pheasant hunter, but havn't hunted Minnesota for years. I take many trips a season to SD, so I am out of the loop in regards to Minnesota. I want to make a day trip. Since I live in the Duluth area, I will have a ways to go to get to pheasant country. Willmar is 3 1/2 hours away, so that it probably my maximum range for a day trip. Can I find birds in that area?
 

JFan02

New member
You can find birds this side of Willmar if you are willing to work a bit for them.

Spicer, New London, even as close as Kanabec and Pine Counties.
 

birdshooter

Well-known member
I am an avid pheasant hunter, but havn't hunted Minnesota for years. I take many trips a season to SD, so I am out of the loop in regards to Minnesota. I want to make a day trip. Since I live in the Duluth area, I will have a ways to go to get to pheasant country. Willmar is 3 1/2 hours away, so that it probably my maximum range for a day trip. Can I find birds in that area?

Litchfield to Willmar you can find birds if your willing to work as was stated. Lots of public land and don't hesitate to knock on a few doors if you see a good looking private piece. As with anything try to locate areas that have good cover near food. Last 2 hours of light will most likely be most productive.
 

goldeneye

New member
I would think Duluth would be farther then that?
If I was you I would spend the extra 7hours grouse hunting around home.
Lots of public area Litchfield and west if you decide to go.
 

JFan02

New member
I live just 15 minutes West of Duluth. I spent the last weekend hunting in Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine Counties. It's actually only about 4 and a half hours to get down there. I have also hunted around Spicer, New London, Benson area and had luck.

There are also a few good public areas in Kanabec and Pine Counties. Also the landowners are much more receptive to knocking on the doors for pheasants than they are further South and West. It just takes a little time to find spots. (The guys who live right there won't give any up. It's kind of a poorly kept secret.)

If I had my choice though, I would get up early and make the drive to the SW part of the state every time. Way more public land and a much larger population.
 

Jazz9

New member
When to go is just as important as where.

Having hunted SW Mn. for 45 yrs. the old adage is still true,the later the better. The birds move into the public areas when the weather pushes them, don't get me wrong the birds are there early but not in great numbers. The birds tend to be very spooky as they bunch up so be quite and try to approach them from a angle they not used to seeing. I know everyone wants their dog{s} into the wind but that's not always the best approach, try putting the dog on heel and only hunt it once you reach the back door, try it and let us know if it helps. Still only a dusting of snow so I guess I'll go, Jazz9.
 

kuk kuk

Member
I live just 15 minutes West of Duluth. I spent the last weekend hunting in Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine Counties. It's actually only about 4 and a half hours to get down there. I have also hunted around Spicer, New London, Benson area and had luck.

There are also a few good public areas in Kanabec and Pine Counties. Also the landowners are much more receptive to knocking on the doors for pheasants than they are further South and West. It just takes a little time to find spots. (The guys who live right there won't give any up. It's kind of a poorly kept secret.)

If I had my choice though, I would get up early and make the drive to the SW part of the state every time. Way more public land and a much larger population.

SW too far for day trip. I can get to Watertown SD in 5 1/2 hrs, which is closer and with more birds. I will go down to Willmar and bang around there. If you are 15 minutes west of Duluth you must be very close to me. I live in Esko
 

Wirehairs

New member
Lac Qui Parle WMA around Lac Qui Parle Lake pheasant season is basically just going to open Dec1 for the first time. They do not allow pheasant hunting in the Lac Qui Parle Controlled goose hunting zone which I believe ends Nov. 30. It should be excellent hunting there the in Dec.
 

Jazz9

New member
I wasn't aware of that, the fact is I've never hunted pheasants more than 15 miles from home unless its been Iowa or SD. Both of these states have a lot to offer but the truth of the matter is, its not worth traveling if you don't have to. Good hunting, Jazz9.
 
I live just 15 minutes West of Duluth. I spent the last weekend hunting in Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine Counties. It's actually only about 4 and a half hours to get down there. I have also hunted around Spicer, New London, Benson area and had luck.

There are also a few good public areas in Kanabec and Pine Counties. Also the landowners are much more receptive to knocking on the doors for pheasants than they are further South and West. It just takes a little time to find spots. (The guys who live right there won't give any up. It's kind of a poorly kept secret.)

If I had my choice though, I would get up early and make the drive to the SW part of the state every time. Way more public land and a much larger population.


Those birds in Kanabec and Pine county birds must have escaped from one of the many game farms in that area
 

BRITTMAN

Well-known member
No pheasants are naitive to MN. Maybe escapees long ago, but the pheasants in EC MN are part of a sustainable population.
 

Jazz9

New member
Don't know if they escaped or not but there aren't any pen raised birds around this area. The ones we have here have more to fear from mother nature than all the hunters that chase them. Jazz9.
 

Red9

New member
I've seen wild roosters around Pine City a couple of times while on my way to hunt Grouse. They are up there...
 

JFan02

New member
The ones real close to Pine City are probably from Wings North (the game farm). However, I have talked to several old farmers in the area that have told me they have always had pheasants on their land. One guy mentioned that it was routine for him to kick up several dozen when he was haying in the fall.
 

mnjimmer

New member
There are good numbers around Pine City. I've shot limits the past two Decembers with my brother-in-law. These are wild birds on private land.
 

JRP267

New member
I grew up on a farm by brook park and we regularly had a self sustaining pheasnt population. They werent numerous but where there.
 
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