On my way up to Waipu last week I spotted a dead male pheasant at the side of the road. I stopped and went back to check him out - altho he was stiff, he had not been dead long, as he smelled fresh. The body was intact, tho his neck was broken.
My experience with pheasant is that the flesh can be a bit tough, so I mashed up 6 kiwi fruit & squeezed the juice out of a large grapefruit to make a marinade. I filled the body cavity with the mixture, placed the bird into a plastic bag & poured the rest of the mix in on top. This I placed in the refridgerator & left for four days.
To roast the bird I placed it into a baking dish with some oil (still filled with fruit), covered the dish, & cooked it slowly for 80 minutes at 160-170 F. The juices and the rest of the marinade made a delicious gravy. The meat was tender with just a slight gamey taste, and served four people.