What is the best method for feeding pheasants on a small shoot? Tony Jackson replies

Q: What is the best method for feeding pheasants on a recently acquired small shoot? We have been told that feeding corn in rides is better than using hoppers.

TONY JACKSON replies: The ideal way to hold pheasants on a shoot is hand-feeding them in coverts on rides scattered with straw. This will keep the birds busy and ensure they remain on the shoot. However, this is very time-consuming. Hoppers are the practical answer. They can be sited wherever you choose and easily refilled with quality corn once a week, or whenever they become low.

Suitable hoppers can be bought or you can make your own from 5-gallon metal drums with feeding slots underneath the barrel. The barrel itself should be suspended from a sturdy post at a height that will enable a pheasant to comfortably peck at the slots.

If you have deer on the shoot, protect the hopper by attaching strong wire to the posts while allowing room for the birds to enter.