American Game Birds

Illustrating More Than One Hundred Species In Natural Colors

By Chester A. Reed

Page 54

RING-NECKED PHEASANT (Phasianus torquatus). These handsome birds have been introduced into various parts of our country and in some sections are thriving very well, notably so in Oregon and Washington and almost as well in New England. The male is an exceptionally beautiful bird, measuring about 36 in. in length, including the long tail. They inhabit cultivated or weed-grown fields and brush-covered side hills or pasture land. Sportsmen who use only the pointer or setter have quite unanimously voted Pheasants failures as game birds, but a well trained hound will furnish as much sport with them as can be secured from any bird. Some of my pleasantest days afield have been with a hound and without a gun. What more could one wish than to watch his faithful friend coursing all over the field, hot on the trail of the running cock pheasant and finally "standing" him in some thick cover. Some claim that it will spoil a dog if you do not occasionally shoot game he puts up, but I have found that words of appreciation of his good work go just as far as getting the game. Everyone has his own tastes and, as an article of food, I have yet to find any game equal to the Pheasant. It is very like quail but with the great advantage of good size.

     Claims that Pheasants destroy young grouse I believe to be contrary to fact and spiteful, since the two species do not frequent the same covers, and I have had much experience with both during the breeding season.


PRAIRIE SHARP-TAILED GROUSE (Pedioecetes phasianellus campestris). The typical Sharp-tail is found from Central Alaska and British Columbia east to Ontario and western Ungava; the Columbian Sharp-tail inhabits the region from northeastern California and Colorado north to Alberta; and the present variety occurs from Illinois and Kansas north to Manitoba. The three varieties differ only slightly in the tone of coloring, and even more slightly in size, averaging on 16 in. in length. Unlike Prairie Chickens, these birds do not thrive on cultivated land, but advance ahead of the settlers and make their homes in more remote country.