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Breeding Season

Breeding Season

Breeding Season

STORY BY Chris Madson
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Tim Christie

Breeding Season

STORY BY Chris Madson
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Tim Christie

Breeding Season

STORY BY Chris Madson
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Tim Christie
‘‘

For several years, I helped out on a hunting preserve that offered several species of gamebirds, including pheasants. Depending on the time of year, the pens held anywhere from 200 to 2,000 pheasants. At the main door to the pen, there was a hook holding a pair of old welding gauntlets and, underneath, a sign reading “Danger: Man-Eating Pheasant” in large, black letters.
I stepped into the pen for the first time one warm July morning, smiling at the absurdity of the sign as I passed. I was halfway to the feeders when I felt a swat on the back of my right calf. I looked over my shoulder to find a rooster pheasant stalking me, body feathers fluffed, wings drooped slightly, clearly in a pugnacious mood. I turned around and feinted toward him. He jumped back a step and watched me. When I turned away, confident that I’d shaken his resolve, he attacked again. Luckily, I was wearing high boots-I could see the marks his spurs left on the uppers. He spent the next five minutes stalking me while I filled the feeders, and then trailed me back across the pen, looking for an opening. I scrambled through the door, slammed it behind me, and double-checked the lock. No sense taking any chances…

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Breeding Season

For several years, I helped out on a hunting preserve that offered several species of gamebirds, including pheasants. Depending on the time of year, the pens held anywhere from 200 to 2,000 pheasants. At the main door to the pen, there was a hook holding a pair of old welding gauntlets and, underneath, a sign reading “Danger: Man-Eating Pheasant” in large, black letters.
I stepped into the pen for the first time one warm July morning, smiling at the absurdity of the sign as I passed. I was halfway to the feeders when I felt a swat on the back of my right calf. I looked over my shoulder to find a rooster pheasant stalking me, body feathers fluffed, wings drooped slightly, clearly in a pugnacious mood. I turned around and feinted toward him. He jumped back a step and watched me. When I turned away, confident that I’d shaken his resolve, he attacked again. Luckily, I was wearing high boots-I could see the marks his spurs left on the uppers. He spent the next five minutes stalking me while I filled the feeders, and then trailed me back across the pen, looking for an opening. I scrambled through the door, slammed it behind me, and double-checked the lock. No sense taking any chances…

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