March 16, 2011
1. When hunting in snow, outfit any gun dog with a blaze-orange vest...
1. When hunting in snow, outfit any gun dog with a blaze-orange vest (either made from neoprene or fabric) for better visibility in heavy cover and to protect the pooch from cold temperatures, high winds and balls of ice that drag down body temperatures.
2. Use dog boots (made from nylon, neoprene, leather or rubber) to protect canine feet from the formation of painful ice pellets that can form between the toes of any breed with hairy feet.
3. Use an e-collar with a remotely activated beeper locator to keep track of your dog when hunting snow-covered cattail sloughs, thick grass in CRP and dense stands of crops in food plots where any dog is difficult to see.
4. Bring a Thermos of hot chicken noodle soup as a snack to revive a dog hunting in the snow during high wind and low air temperatures. Also include a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to feed to any canine as a way to regenerate energy levels.
5. Use a 12 gauge with 1 ¼ ounces of hard No. 5 shot traveling at 1,500 feet per second to penetrate feathers, hit vital organs and break the bones of tough late-season pheasants.
6. Wear sweat-shedding underwear and breathable Polartec outerwear when walking in snow to avoid getting wet and then cold from perspiration. Leather boots with moisture-proof and breathable Gortex will keep feet warm and dry as opposed to rubber boots, which collect sweat and cause cold toes.
7. Use a baseball-type cap with an all-mesh crown covered by a thin, lightweight and breathable knit stocking cap to keep your head warm and dry (not hot and sweaty) when tromping through snow.
8. For those who want to hunt pheasants in the snow in January, February and March, go to a hunting preserve in any of the pheasant belt states in the Upper Midwest.
9. Check the weather forecast before planning to hunt pheasants in the snow because the science of predicting short-range and long-range weather patterns is now so much better, thanks to sophisticated computer models.
10. Hunting rooster pheasants in the winter snow is a good game management practice because there are always more male pheasants than are needed for reproduction in the next spring and summer. Harvesting the excess population of cock birds reduces the competition with hens for food and increases the chances for hen survival--and more eggs, chicks and adult roosters the next year.