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White Rooster Caps December Hunt


P.J. Smith and his setters, “Bella” (tri-color) and “Penny” with a rare white rooster.

Jeff Smith and his son, P.J., first spotted this white rooster pheasant near Jeff’s home in rural Zumbrota on opening day of Minnesota’s 2012 pheasant hunting season. The bird flushed a few hundreds ahead of their hunting group, and with its mostly white color, they figured the bird would be too visible to predators and wouldn’t last long in the wild.

But this rooster had a knack for avoiding danger, Jeff and P.J. included. “He eluded our guns all season,” Jeff said, “The bird always jumped 50 yards ahead of the dogs’ initial points and flew around a brushy hillside near a river bottom. The bird would flush wild again upon our second approach.”

On December 28th, they tried a different strategy, with P.J. staying at the top of the hill while one of his friends circled the river bottom. When P.J.’s setters, “Bella,” a 9-year-old tri-color and “Penny,” a 10-year old lemon and white, when on point, the white rooster once again moved and busted out 150 yards ahead. This time, P.J. was right where he needed to be. “The bird made the mistake of flying over my son on the top of the hill,” Jeff said, “It was a good passing shot.”

Jeff and P.J. regularly hunt and train dogs in Goodhue County, frequently visiting publicly accessible wildlife management areas that the local Goodhue County Pheasants Forever chapter has contributed dollars and efforts to. But they’d never seen anything like this once-in-a-lifetime longtail. Other than a few black specks on the neck and breast, the bird is snow white, including the tail and legs. To commemorate the hunt, P.J. had the bird mounted in flight. “This is the only white pheasant I’ve seen in 50 years of pheasant hunting,” Jeff said, “It is a magnificent bird!”

Anthony’s Antics Afield is written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.org and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.

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3 Responses to “White Rooster Caps December Hunt”

  1. jeff says:

    Very cool!!

  2. Hi. Read your story. I have not seen an albino pheasant since 1963. I am from Rochester and hunt the WMAs around the area. I have not had much luck in 2012, even though I also have two setters. The birds get up way ahead of me. Can you tell me which of the local WMAs seem to be better than most for birds? Thanks
    Wayne, Rush, and Remington

  3. @Wayne – we recommend looking at some of the public projects the local Goodhue County PF chapter has had a hand in and keying in on those. Check out their project list here: http://www.goodhuepf.org/


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