Some describe hunting pheasant as the “finest form” of bird hunting. However, for those of us living in the South, it’s not something that we are exceedingly familiar with …
Some describe hunting pheasant as the “finest form” of bird hunting. However, for those of us living in the South, it’s not something that we are exceedingly familiar with considering these beautiful creatures are indigenous to states north of the Mason Dixon Line; primarily ones with the wide open prairie lands like that of the Midwest. So what are we south Alabamians to do when we want to try our hand at pheasant hunting and aren’t able to hop on a plane to get to their natural habitat?
We make our own, of course.
Similar to quail farms, pheasants are raised locally by breeders and are sold to game preserves, farms and individuals to be used primarily for hunting. The most common form of this style of pheasant hunting is the “Continental Shoot” which simulates a European style “driven” hunt consisting of pass shooting and barrel-melting action. Pheasants are released from a central tower to challenge shooters as they periodically rotate through a multiple station circle. Dogs are used to retrieve the birds. Continental pheasant shoots are similar to the social aspect of dove shoots in that they are often times followed by a cookout or gathering of all the hunters.
Ready to try continental pheasant hunting? You will need a hunting license, eye and ear protection, blaze orange and at least five boxes of No. 6 shells (most hunters use a 12-gauge shotgun). Be sure to take a cooler to ice down your birds, too.
Need help in finding a continental pheasant shoot? The best way to find preserves and farms that offer this style of hunting in our state is to perform an internet search for “Alabama Continental Pheasant Hunting.” You will then be able to find a venue that is perfect for you.
Looking for a continental pheasant shoot in Baldwin County? Oak Hollow Farm in Fairhope offers public, corporate, private and fundraising pheasant hunts annually Oct. 1 through March 31. They are hosting an upcoming fundraising shoot on Oct. 20 to benefit the South Baldwin Chamber Foundation; a nonprofit agency in South Baldwin County that enriches education, develops leadership and equips local students with the skills to succeed. This event is $200 per shooter and is open to the public. They will even provide guns if needed. To reserve your space, call 251-943-5550.
Tender pheasant recipe for slow cooker
• 4 small pheasants, cleaned and rinsed
• 1/2 pound sliced bacon
• 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 cup water
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
• 1 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
• Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Place the pheasants into a large slow cooker. Wrap and drape the bacon over the birds, covering the pheasants as much as you can. Whisk the condensed soup, sour cream, water, chopped onion, onion soup mix and mushrooms together in a mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over the pheasants. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or on high for 5 to 7 hours.
Not going pheasant hunting anytime soon? Try substituting with Cornish game hen or whole chicken, but be sure to be mindful of cooking times as these may vary based on quantity and style of meat.