Two main factors are going to get them through these winter months. Thermal cover and food. In many instances these are two in the same. The best bet for thermal cover in native warm season grasses, and where they'll grow, cattails serve as good winter cover. In many of these native grass stands, the seeds produced by the grass and forbs provide food for the pheasants. However, supplemental food can be beneficial. I'll get to that next but first lets look how these grasses provide thermal cover.
If you look in the photo at the bottom of the page, you will see a clump of big blue stem and some switch grass. Nestled down a the bottom is a pheasant bed. The grass caught the snow, while remaining rigid providing vertical cover. This allows the bird to get nestled in, protected from the wind. This photo was taken on the Southeast side of the grass, right after a bird was flushed, on a day with a Northwest wind.
The positioning was in such a place the bird could still escape a ground predator if needed, was protected from the wind, while also being protected from aerial predators with the vertical structure the grass provided. This particular grassland has very few trees around it. Now shelter belts besides a few trees around the farm place. However, it has been managed well. It was burned about 4 years ago. Two years ago it was grazed. This has been great for managing a good grassland to produce birds. We saw about 150 birds on the last hunt of the season on this farm.
Although trees aren't necessary, they are another good option for food, thermal cover and even nesting cover. In particular, shelter belts consisting of evergreens and shrubs. Shrub thickets and occasional evergreens in a grassland, can provide great cover for birds. They can get on the south side, settle in and soak up the sun on a cold afternoon. The vertical structure again protects them from aerial predators.
The next option for consideration is food plots. My favorite plots for pheasants have milo in them. Either a straight milo plot or something like the Brood2Rooster mix, consisting of milo, sunflowers, sorghum and buckwheat, to name a few. The stalks are tough enough to with stand snow and wind, allowing a place for birds to get under and out of the wind. They will provide more than enough food to get your local flock through the tough months of winter.
Remember to manage today for a better tomorrow!