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Location: VERMONT
Joined: 07/07/2005
Posts: 57
Pheasant without dogs?

I hoping somebody had some advise to share on hunt these long tails without dogs, I also will be hunting by my self. sad

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Pheasant without dogs?

hmmm ... upland bird hunting without a dog is a bummer. My son's pup, pictured below, died suddently while hunting yesterday. Arghhh. We think she had a congenital heart condition. She was running ... kind of missed a step, ran a few more, somersaulted to a stop - and was dead. Got her to the vet, but DOA. She was probably dead before I got her to my shoulders. Man, she was coming on strong on pheasants ... had just brought me her ninth rooster. Not even a year old. It was a dream coming true - and then the dream evaporated.

Back to your question - since I'll be now without a dog for a while. Ringnecks are smart birds. With any pressure they will do either of two things: 1) run and fly way out ahead of you, or 2) hope you walk by.

First of all - hunt ditches or ravines with relatively narrow and low cover that have open ground on both sides - so if you do get a shot and drop a bird - you can find it. In fact - ringnecks are tough birds - and they often hit the ground alive. If you don't have a dog - you may have to blaze away at a downed bird until you stop him.

Without a dog you'll have to take them one at a time.

Back to items: 1) you kind of have to hunt the area and find where they hang out or bottleneck - and then `just suddenly arrive' there. It's amazing, but if they fly or run out ahead - and then I make it over to where they went to - they aren't there by the time I get there. Chasing them just doesn't seem to work.

And 2) move slow. If they think you might walk right on by - they may try and let you. And it works most of the time for hunters without dogs. (That's why dogs are so sweet.) But if it's just you - move slow. Stop from time to time. Make like you're going to tie your shoe or something, or eat lunch - but be ready, always. Move so slow that it makes them nervous. If they have been hunted hard - they will probably let you get past and then fly double speed toward the nearest road or house (safety). Decide ahead of time which direction(s) you can and can't shoot.

If you're hunting alone - I'd say just forget heavy cover. They are not idiotic and looking to get shot - they'll fly out the invisible side, or just wait it out.

If it's dry - hunt where there is water.

I'm not an expert at pheasants - but there's my 2 cents.

Meanwhile - I'm gonna be shopping for another dog. Raise and train myself, starting young, etc., blah, blah. I'm out of the loop now for the rest of this season - but I can get one on line for next. Raising a disciplined hunting dog is not easy - but when it happens - and you and your dog start working together on birds, it is sweet indeed.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Pheasant without dogs?

Continuing ...

The pheasants around here know where it's safe. The county is checkboarded with property where the owners consider the pheasant their pets.

There were a couple roosters that would trickle out of such property onto some ground I could hunt - but not far. Day after day they would somehow get on the safety side of me ... the safety of the road, farm animals, and houses, and then bust out full throttle. One day I got a quick shot at one of them before the background became horses and other stuff. Gone. He flew on, winged or not. Other times I just had to shake my head and chuckle, or cry, as I watched them escape.

Finally I had to disguise myself as a civilian out walking / jogging along the road (of which there are many) and get between them and their escape route.

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Joined: 08/27/2004
Posts: 1964
Pheasant without dogs?

you can hunt game birds without dogs and it isnt a hard task just alot of walking and honning in skills shooting them in the air it aint hard hunting phesants just find a good open filed and walk into the long grass just always have your gun ready.

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Location: Washington (Everett)
Joined: 05/17/2005
Posts: 12
Pheasant without dogs?

To Serious Hunter. What a shame about your son's dog. Was it a Golden Retriever? The reason why I ask is because it looks just like my dog didwhen he was a pup. He is 5 yrs old now and is the most amazing hunter. Wonderful nose and stays close.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Pheasant without dogs?

Thanks for the note. Yes, Golden Retriever, and a very golden golden, relatively short sleek hair, actually the most beautiful dog I ever saw. Bummer even more. I agree - a well trained Golden can be an AMAZING hunter.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Pheasant without dogs?

All Other Thing Equal (OTE) ... hunt with the sun behind you. A young roo and a hen do not necessarily look a lot different flying directly away. But as the season progressss, the young roos are less and less young ... and more and more BEAUTIFUL.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Pheasant without dogs?

I wish I had followed my own advice ... I was jumping pheasants from a road atop a rounded ridgetop ... afraid they would dissapear too quickly over the horizon on the right (east) side, I slid a bit east, only to have a (the) rooster get up right in the sun (on my left) ... snip ... The hens came out right the way I wanted them to ... but alas, not in season. Darn.

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Joined: 08/27/2004
Posts: 1964
Pheasant without dogs?

That sucks.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Pheasant without dogs?

The drama continues ... I was walking back to my rig with a big honker (15 lb-er) ... I came up on a spot along a ditchbank that a lot of time holds a roo. I got quasi ready - ready to drop the goose and swing. Then he erupted; I dropped the goose, started to swing, but both feet started sliding-skiing down the mud embankment (maybe 8 ft high). I almost tried an in-motion shot - but refrained, as there was a house and road behind the rooster - and the rotation of my gun barrel due to the relative motion caused by suddently sliding could potentially `sprinkle' cars, houses, etc. I was using BBB and perhaps had an audience already from busting the goose. I'll get him another day. I still felt pretty good carrying the gander. ... though a rooster is always a prize also.

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Joined: 08/27/2004
Posts: 1964
Pheasant without dogs?

better luck next time youll get him that unpredictible situation again hopefully its in the forest.

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