I have always said I am a hunter, but I don't necessarily like killing. The bigger the animal, the more compassion I seem to have. Shooting a bear doesn't excite me much. Elk hunting is my game due to the challenge of it on public land, but I still want to make a quick, clean kill more than anything.
Many "genteel" sportsmen and women who enjoy tweed and fly fishing, hunt birds, but pass on big game blood sports. Birds are, I guess, perceived more as targets, they not being mammals running around on four legs. I get that, although I still have a lot of love for the native birds and Hungarian Partridge. Who wouldn't love any little covey bird that huddles up to survive the wicked blizzards of the prairie? I hunt all of the above, but with great reverence.
Pheasants are different. I like to shoot them dead. Especially the late season, running devils that they are. Hunting in November and December is often most productive with a couple of guys pushing birds and a couple more doing some blocking. Mix in a few dogs, doing what they do, and you can get the buggers to eventually flush. I have never said pheasant shooting is difficult, but getting them to fly can be.
The pheasant hunting I cherish the most occurs in tall native grasses or CRP. One hunter, one dog and one wily rooster. It may require multiple points by the dog and a brisk pace by the hunter, but if you are taking baby steps or expecting your dog to not relocate, you lose, the rooster wins. When it comes to pheasants, I like to win. I assume the dogs do also.