How to Determine a Pheasant's Age

Pheasants Forever's Anthony Hauck takes some of the guesswork out of determining the age of the pheasant you just killed in his latest post. I say "some" of the guesswork because aging roosters is still an inexact science.


The easiest way to do it is by examining the three outermost primaries. If they are shorter than the rest of the primaries, you're holding a young (and delicious) rooster. If the outer primaries are fully grown, you're holding a bird that's at least 2 years old.


How do you tell a 2-year-old bird from a 3- or even an elderly 4-year-old? Hauck points out such features as tail length, spur size and weight as characteristics some hunters swear by, but in reality it's practically impossible to tell whether a bird is 2, 3 or 4 years old.


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