Hunting & Heritage  |  10/31/2012

The Rooster Trail


Employable tactics for hunting cornfields, food plots, narrow strips of cover, large CRP fields, shelterbelts and wetland areas.

Corn Field Drives

Many pheasant hunters like to hunt with a buddy or two, so here’s a scenario in a cornfield. You may want to post one guy, but if you don’t, try both of you walking the outside rows first, moving toward the center to keep the birds in play.

Food Plot Drives

In this scenario, one hunter blocks while the other zig-zags the field to prevent birds from slipping by or simply staying put, undetected. Actually, zig-zagging is good form no matter what habitat you’re hunting. Stopping off and on is also great strategy to un-nerve notoriously spooky roosters.

Narrow-Strip Drives

Here, one hunter swings wide (so as not to spook any birds) before the drive begins to get into place for early breaking birds. He is also hunting wide enough to prevent spooking, but stays close enough for a decent shot as both hunters move out together.

Large CRP Drives

If you only have two hunters, run a maze course in big fields to push birds to the center instead of the edges. Keep your dog on this discipline as well.

Shelterbelt Drives

When the snow flies, birds can be found in shelterbelts when not feeding. Our poster swings way wide on his way to prevent premature flushes.

Wetland Drives

Lastly, our intrepid hunters drive an irregular wetlands, which is also common winter cover. Here, though, they drive and post, drive and post to break up escape routes and increase the odds of bagging a King of the Gamebirds!

Illustrations by Ryan Kirby. This story originally appeared in the Pheasants Forever Journal of Upland Conservation.

-Mark Herwig is editor of the Pheasants Forever Journal and Quail Forever Journal. Email Mark at‚Äč