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.
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
- 4 Boxes Federal Premium .223
- Gun Cleaning Supplies
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)
- Gun Cleaning Supplies
- First Aid Kit
- Game Shears
- Hearing Protection
- Hunter Safety Certificate
- Journal & Pen
- Knife – Benchmade 940-2
- Leatherman Tool
- Hunting License
- Hand Cleanser
- Toilet Paper
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
- Hunting Collar –SportDOG Brand UplandHunter 1875
- Water Bottle
- Ruff Tough Dog Kennel – Their Medium size is perfect for my Britanny
- Ruff Tough 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
- Food bowls
- Vaccination Documentation
Pro Tip: If you normally only feed dry dog food, consider bringing along some canned food on your hunting trips to encourage finicky eaters.
- Coffee Mug – After breakfast in town, I fill up my mug for the drive to the fields where we’ll be hunting
- 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
Note: Hunt Tested may receive a small commission if you purchase a product from the links on this page. This does NOT increase your price and helps to pay for the content you’re enjoying.
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 – Danner
- Game Vest – LL Bean makes a great upland vest
- Leather Shooting Gloves – Bob Allen
- Shooting Glasses
- Suspenders – Boyt Harness
- Dirty Clothes bag
Pro Tip: Use boot dryers to dry out your boots at the end of the day.
Editor’s Note: If you care about our wild places and upland game, consider joining Pheasants Forever. They are a well-run organization and they have a solid focus on fighting to maintain crucial habitat.