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going on a pheasant hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by mpol777, Feb 16, 2003.

  1. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    my dad found a place in mid-ohio that is a game preserve. he scheduled a hunt for us on the 27th. basically you order the amount of birds (min of 3 per hunter) and they release them the day before. then you show up and they provide the dogs and handlers. it doesn't sound like a boxed hunt, so it should be fun.

    i've never hunted pheasant before, so i'm not sure what to expect. how do they flush? do i need to get on them quick before they pick up speed, or are they relatively slow? relative to quail that is. any tips would be appreciated.
     
  2. 357glocker

    357glocker

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    They are alot quicker than they look but it is because they are a large bird. I think many hunters miss them because they shoot their tails or under them on the flush. It is just not very easy to concentrate on I guess. Don't be in a rush to shoot really quick, for one, if you have never had one flush at your feet get ready to have a heart attack. Take your time, let the bird level out then take the shot. Beings they are pen birds they probably will not flush wild and you should have plenty of shots w/in 20 yds. Go with an improved cylinder choke so you don't smoke em'. Some of the wild ones will flush the minute they hear a hunters door open!
     

  3. Garweh

    Garweh CLM

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    I have a similar situation here in upstate NY. They release 10 to 14 birds that are kept in pens that have netting so that the birds can fly. The birds will usually flush with the dog, occasionally the hunter has to walk up on the bird to get it to flush. They usually flush about 10 feet straight up and then they start to really fly, this is the ideal time to shoot before they really get moving. Don't forget to lead the bird. I use a 12 gauge, #6 shot, 1 and 1/8th ounces. I also use a skeet choke--wide pattern and clean kills out to 40 to 50 yards. Enjoy.
     
  4. noway

    noway

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    First let me say "Pheasant, A great tasting birds!"

    (imho)
    Get a good high velocity load of #6 or #7.5 1 1/4-3/8oz load. The birds don't flush like a dove or quail but provide alot of time to get a lead on them. Be advise they normally always turn away from the shooter ( left or right ) depending on the mood so be patience and expect the unexpected.


    They roast up great. If you like cornish hens,capons,range-free-roaming chickens or quail, YOU'LL LOVE Pheasant!
     
  5. Craigster

    Craigster

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    I've been hunting native roosters for over 30 years now with pointing dogs in Washington and Idaho. The answer to your question depends a lot on the type of cover your hunting, type of dogs you are using and weather conditions. Another factor will be pen raised birds.

    Most of our cover is low CRP and Brushy draws. If your hunting tall cover such is standing corn your guide will probably be running Flushing dogs. My experience with them is limited but you should be able to quickly learn how to read the dog and be ready for your shot.

    Regarding weather conditions. Smart native birds will run from danger and fly when they get to an edge normally out of range unless they are trapped by the work of smart dog or like someone said leave the county when they hear a door close. Pen raised birds don't have the experience of natives and sometimes are a little stupid when it comes to evading danger because of their exposure to humans and lack of predators while in their pen. In either case if the weather is cold the birds will normally hold much better because flying causes them to lose body heat. On two very cold occasions I've walked up onto pointing dogs over a native and actually picked the bird up both times thinking it was wounded. Neither one of them were, what a circus that was.;P I've run my dogs for fellows on planted hunts and I've found when they do fly, don't normally go very far.

    Pheasant wings are relatively small for the size of their body and require a good jump start using their legs with their wings flapping like crazy launching them up to a point where they can set and glide. At the same time roosters will let out a big squawk and normally take a midair crap. Personally I believe during the launch, because of shooter anticipation, unknown direction, footing, excited dogs, a rather large bird with noisy wings, squawking and midair craping that they appear to be going faster than they really are. However if the bird gets out to the point where he is making horizontal progress they can really cook especially if there's wind. If your hunting tall cover with Flushing dogs I have the feeling most of your shooting will probably be mid speed pass shooting.

    If you're used to shooting buzz bombs like quail or chuckers I think you may have good luck shooting pheasant if you take your time during the launch process and be ready for some high-speed shooting when the birds go horizontal.

    I'm sure you'll have a great time and I hope to get the opportunity on your hunt to shoot over a pointing dog. It's without a doubt my favorite sport.

    Good luck,
    Craig, Gage and Babe
     
  6. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    great input guys. thanks.
     
  7. m65swede

    m65swede

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    Excellent post by Craigster! I live in typical Corn Belt terrain - harvested corn and soybean fields, a little winter wheat, and small timbers. There are few fencerows but a considerable amount of CRP and other conservation acreage.

    Our birds are wild and are a real blast to hunt. Craigster's comments on weather and flushing characteristics are right on the money. Our local roosters like to run on warmer days; they are like colorful roadrunners.

    They use the wind to their every advantage. When you hunt into the wind, don't be surprised if that old rooster flushes into the wind; then swaps ends and flies right over your head with a 40 mph tailwind. Trust me when I tell you not to pull the trigger on your 12 guage when its barrel is pointing straight up! ;f

    Enjoy your hunt. :)

    Swede
     
  8. MrMunster

    MrMunster

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    I hope you enjoy your hunt, but those pen raised birds will be dumber and not near as tasty as their wild brethren. Of course, I've been spoiled by a lifetime of hunting wild pheasants and quail in southeast Iowa.

    I hunted on a preserve once and will never do it again. I was mortified when the owner said, "Yeah, some of them actually fly."

    To me, shooting a bird on the ground (running or otherwise) is not very sporting.
     
  9. maxxx93

    maxxx93

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    Boy, You guys just brought back some great memories.

    I used to love to pheasant hunt. back in the 60s and early 70s I had permission to hunt a farmers corn fields, before he sold out, and they became housing developments.

    Today the only places that have enough open space, to hunt, that's not posted, is way out in the western part of the state.

    So nowadays with the exception of deer season, most of my shooting is done at the range.
     
  10. silverado

    silverado

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    The great pheasant. As I live in Kansas I hunt the wild birds at least twice a week threw season. Most of my hunting is done on fence rows and milo stubble feilds, and some CRP land. I shoot a 12ga loaded with hi-power 5's. The 6's are two small for long shots and the 4's do not have a high enough pellet count. Towards the end of season when the birds can be spooky I carry a load of 1 3/4 oz. of number 5's. Although I have shot way more pheasants with my 20ga and my 28ga. I guess I got suckerd into the "you need a big gun" bs. Shoot the gun you shoot for quil with heavier loads and it will not be a problem. Remeber to swing threw the bird and keep swinging once the shot is fired.
     
  11. noway

    noway

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    Silverado, where do you hunt at in kansas and how long is the season?


    I knew some folks out near Salina ( hope I spell that right ) that said Pheasnt hunting was great around that area.
     
  12. m65swede

    m65swede

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    True. Failure to swing through is probably the number 1 cause of misses by novice pheasant hunters. They are big, colorful, and noisy. I once guided my college roommate's dad - an experienced duck/goose hunter - on his very first pheasant hunt on our farm. He didn't get a shot off on the first 2 times we flushed birds. He got so excited and awestruck that he forgot to shoot! Then he shot behind the next bunch. :) But he ended up just fine; he settled down and limited out easily.

    Though a mature rooster may measure more than 3 feet long from the tip of his outstretched beak to the tip of his tail, most of that distance is tail. Don't shoot at the tail! It's an optical illusion that must be ignored. You need to put pellets in the head or center of body.

    I always enjoy taking new pheasant hunters on their first hunt. Guaranteed good times for sure. :)

    Swede
     
  13. Craigster

    Craigster

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  14. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    the hunt went well. it was on a 256 acre preserve, in the SW corner of rt 301 and rt 71 near west salem, OH.

    6 birds (3 cocks and 3 hens) were put out the night before. we arrived just before 10am and luckily it warmed up. the guide was running a 4 year old english pointer.

    watching that dog work was awesome. the dog pointed wonderfully and was on the first bird in about 15 minutes. the guide flushed the bird and it was heading out on my side. now i've been used to fast little quail. so when the bird went up i was on him really quick. he was flying straight away so it was hard to tell how far away he was. being conditioned on birds that are out of range or over the next roll in a few seconds, i instinctively squeezed the shot a little too soon. there was no question that i hit the bird with the cloud of feathers drifting down. 1.25 oz of #5's out of a mod choke is a bit much at 20 yards :). the breast was untouched, but his butt was pretty torn up.

    my dad took the next 3 and i took one more. we flushed one more of the placed birds and two more wild birds. the wild birds were much more exciting. we didn't have a shot at the first one since we were in the woods. the second was a right to left 3/4 shot that i can never seem to hit.

    we hunted for about 4 hours. the guide was great and so was the dog the whole time. he never rushed us and even after we had seen all of the birds he placed he still took us through the fields to see what else we could kick up. i'll get all of his contact info and post it. i would recommend his pheasant hunts and i'd bet his quail hunts are good too.

    the pheasant tasted great that night. the hens were a bit small so next time i'd probably pay the extra few bucks to get only males. i would also open up the choke to a skeet choke. even the wild birds would be good with a skeet choke. change to a 1 oz of shot. the copper plated #5's did the job well for us.
     
  15. Craigster

    Craigster

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    Was this your first time over a pointing dog?

    English pointers are such graceful runners with a classic point.

    Did you get any dog or action pics?

    You mentioned a possible shotgun change, at least consider a 20ga. They are lighter to carry, won’t tear the birds up as bad and work great for Quail.

    Birds, dogs and shotguns. Sounds like you had a great time.

    Craig, Gauge and Babe