The Ultimate Pheasant Hunting Gear List

If you’re lucky enough to live in rural South Dakota, pheasant hunting is pretty darn simple. Grab your shotgun, throw on a blaze cap, walk out your door and you’re pheasant hunting. Most of us have to travel some distance to chase ringnecks. That travel requires a little planning to ensure you have all the gear you need for a successful hunt. To help you plan your next rooster pheasant hunt, check out our Ultimate Pheasant Hunting Gear List.

Safety First! My hunting partners and I always place a shell sideways in the breech of our shotguns when we get back to the truck as a clear flag to everyone that our guns are safe.

Pheasant Hunting Guns and Ammo

  • Shotgun – My current favorite pheasant gun is my 12 gauge Benelli M2. An improved Cylinder Choke is perfect for most pheasant hunting scenarios
  • Rifle – for shooting prairie dogs and the occasional coyote while you’re waiting for shooting time
  • Gun Cases – I’m partial to the Signatures series case by Boyt Harness
  • 5 Boxes of Federal Prairie Storm Ammo (Hopefully, I don’t need that many!)
  • 4 Boxes Federal Premium .223
  • Gun Cleaning Supplies
Pheasant Hunter
The author with his Brittany, a limit of Pheasants and a Sharptail Grouse near Winner South Dakota

Upland Hunting Bag

I keep a bag stocked with all the gear I need for pheasant and grouse hunting trips. I’ve found the Sportsman’s Utility Bag by Filson is the perfect size for my needs. Here are the items I keep in this bag.

  • Binoculars (My Swarovski SLC 10X42‘s are excellent for glassing across the prairie)
  • Ammo
  • Gun Cleaning Supplies
  • Compass                              
  • First Aid  Kit                  
  • Game Shears                        
  • Hearing Protection                       
  • Hunter Safety Certificate
  • Journal & Pen                       
  • Knife – Benchmade 940-2                               
  • Leatherman Tool                 
  • Hunting License
  • Hand Cleanser
  • Toilet Paper
Filson Sportsman Utility Bag
The versatile Sportsman Utility Bag can be used as a blind bag, field bag, shooting bag, camera bag, or travel bag.

Dog Gear 

All of my dog gear lives in a 56 quart Plano Tote Box which is the perfect size for the task. Here are the items that I keep in my dog gear tote (with the exception of the kennel and Ruff Tough water dish).

  • ID Collar
  • GPS E-Collar SportDOG Brand Tek 2.0 or if you don’t want a GPS collar, my preference is the SportDOG Brand UplandHunter 1875
  • Water Bottle
  • Treats
  • Ruff Land Dog Kennel – Their Medium size is perfect for my Britanny
  • Ruff Land Water Dish
  • 7 Gallon Water Jug
  • First Aid Kit – For Dogs, (make sure your kit includes EMT Gel)
  • Chest protector – Pheasant country is full of barbed wire. A chest protector has saved me more than a few trips to the vet for stitches
  • Dog Food 
  • Food bowls
  • Vaccination Documentation
  • Dog Leash – I carry a five-foot leather leash, in a compartment in my game vest, for the obvious reasons, but it can also be used to release your dog if it becomes caught in a conibear trap. A length of rope also works, just tie a loop for your foot at the bottom. (Click Here to watch a video on how to release your dog from a conibear trap.)

Pro Tip: If you normally only feed dry dog food, consider bringing along some canned food on your hunting trips to encourage finicky eaters.  

Brittany in protective vest
A protective dog vest has saved my dog from many barbed wire cuts

Misc Pheasant Hunting Gear

  • Coffee Mug – After breakfast in town, I fill up my mug for the drive to the fields where we’ll be hunting
  • Two Way Radios – A handy way to keep in touch when there’s no cell coverage
  • Coolers – One for birds and one for drinks
  • 1 Gallon Ziploc Freezer Bags
  • Bird Box – A plastic tub to place birds in when you empty your vest. Reduces feathers from flying around in your truck
  • Camp Chair -There’s nothing better than pulling out the camp chair for a cold beer on the prairie when you’re done hunting for the day
Pheasant Hunter
A pheasant hunter near Winner South Dakota

Pheasant Hunting Clothing

I hunt the same week in South Dakota every year. In over 20 years of pheasant hunting the same week in October, I’ve seen snowstorms, 95-degree heat, and everything in between. Dress accordingly. Here are the items that I commonly pack:

  • Brush Pants – LL Bean’s Upland Pant are a favorite            
  • Shooting Shirts – Boyt Harness has a nice line of upland shirts            
  • Socks – Smartwool        
  • Belt – Filson                                  
  • Blaze Baseball Cap        
  • Blaze Insulated Cap – Filson
  • Fleece Headband – A fleece headband is handy to keep in your pocket and slip over your ears if it gets cold
  • Upland Jacket 
  • Large Bandana
  • Boot Dryer                                                   
  • Boots – LL Bean Kangaroo Upland Boot                    
  • Game Vest – LL Bean makes a great upland vest
  • Leather Shooting Gloves – Bob Allen                 
  • Shooting Glasses                  
  • Suspenders – Boyt Harness                         
  • T-Shirts                                 
  • Underwear    
  • Dirty Clothes bag

Pro Tip: Use boot dryers to dry out your boots at the end of the day.

Related: How to Clean a Pheasant

Editor’s Note: If you care about our wild places and upland game, consider joining Pheasants Forever. Your membership matters! Over 91% of your membership fees go directly towards habitat projects, public awareness, and education.

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