Birdy Questions

Missing pheasants...the finishing touch for shotgunned birds.

Field & Stream Online Editors

Q: I live in Iowa and we hunt pheasants and turkeys here a lot. My father lives in Missouri and tells us that pheasants won't stay there, but turkeys will. Why? --K.

A: Ringneck pheasants evidently won't reproduce consistently anywhere in the Southeast. Various theories have been advanced about this, involving rainfall and soil types for example, but nobody really knows the reason.

Q: My question may sound dumb, but I know every shotgunned bird is not killed cleanly. What's the best way to finish the bird off, so it doesn't suffer? --J.

A: The old-fashioned way is to wring its neck. Hold the head and twirl the body, and in a few twirls you'll feel the neck crack. Easier, in my opinion, is to hold the bird with your stronger hand under its chest, your forefinger at the base of its throat. Press tightly, especially with your forefinger, and you'll stop the heart in a few seconds.