Missouri - Not A Good Choice
Minimal large field habitat on the lower southwest edge of wild pheasant population range, too many trees all the disadvantages of a Missouri pheasant hunt.
Missouri has a two bird daily bag limit.
Large tall grass fields like this one are rare in Missouri with its agricultural zone too fertile and rainfall too plentiful not to plant high valued grain crops of soybean and corn. An example how CRP rates do not favorably compare to crop land rents or crop prices.
Kansas pheasant hunting
Iowa pheasant hunting
For the avid upland bird hunter Missouri pheasant hunting will be disappointing as Missouri pheasant hunting is limited to the northern tier counties along the Iowa boarder.
Select and very isolated other Missouri ringneck locations are beyond the reach of most hunters. As further proof of this state's limitations is demonstrated by their low daily bag of 2 compared to 8 for quail.
What is available is for the quail hunter working his bird dogs along the many grain row crop fields will be the ringneck as a bonus bird to a day of covey and singles points.
This makes the ringneck more often a surprise than anticipated when the dog goes on point as the typical case is for this state's upland bird team of dog and hunter to have been conditioned to the covey rise. When a rooster rises instead, the sudden strong wing beat, flash of color and surprising speed of such a large bird takes some hunters by surprise to the point many are missed. Complicating the shooting is the typical 20 gauge carried by the quail hunter with light loads that the recovering hunter at flush finds just a bit too light for the seemingly always out of range fast flying rooster.
Missouri wild Bobwhite Quail hunts
Missouri pheasant hunting while fair to good during up years is not much comparison to that experienced in the tall prairie grass habitat found in Kansas. Field walking all day the best habitat may yield a bag of 2 while less than a day of effort frequently finds a Kansas daily bag limit of 4. Overall, most upland bird hunters that seek only quail and bag an occasional ringneck or two always find them as a special story and added picture to their photo album collection of dog points and birds.
Pheasant Hunting Limitations
The environmental limiting factor that limits Missouri pheasant populations is the limited amount of tall prairie grass lands and the larger areas of wooded habitat. Both conspire from different pheasant hunting disadvantages of not providing sufficient overhead concealment at ground level and allowing more aerial predator observation from tress.
With this state known as the "Rivers State" there is much crop edge providing many linear miles of the ideal mix of woody cover and winter food source waste grain to support the quail hunter. Once quail season opens the dedicated quail hunter spends every available season day running his dogs along these edges. When it comes to the ringneck the upland bird hunter will find the more open shallow creek bottoms of Iowa and the large tall grass prairie fields of Kansas far more productive.
The bottom line for Missouri pheasant hunting is to enjoy the occasional rooster, work hard for the quail and hunt Kansas or Iowa rather than Missouri for the better pheasant hunting.