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Anyone have some good tips for Pheasant hunting when you don't have a dog? Don't like the fact that when I want to go pheasant

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  • Anyone have some good tips for Pheasant hunting when you don't have a dog? Don't like the fact that when I want to go pheasant

    Anyone have some good tips for Pheasant hunting when you don't have a dog? Don't like the fact that when I want to go pheasant hunting I have to get atleast two people to go with to help push the field. Some days its nice to just be out in the woods on your own. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Walk your Field in a zig-zag about 30'Pattern and Stop for 1/4 min then start your Zig-Zag again,when you stop that makes the Birds Nervous and will Flush. God Luck


    • #3
      Treestand's tip is about the best you can expect. But I'm sure he'll acknowledge it's still probably only slightly better than the proverbial sharp stick in the eye. Like you I also prefer to hunt alone. At least without other people. But I have THREE great dogs who hunt with me instead. Not only are they wonderful in the field but they have kept me alive at home as well. Fortunately, for guys like you who know nothing about hunting dogs, the best breed is the one that takes the least training and upkeep and also provides the best companionship. Labs are flushing dogs so you only have to watch them work and shoot the results. Most are naturally inclined to work close but that sometimes requires a little training. Otherwise it's just watch them till their tail goes nuts (we call it "getting birdy") and then get ready to shoot. After you've hunted with a dog, the whole thing seems so empty without one. Not just because you seldom get a shot but because you can't watch the dogs enjoy themselves. That's at least twice as rewarding than stuffing a bird in the bag. You will be in love with hunting AND your dog(s). Or rather, because of your dog(s).


      • #4
        Hunting pheasant alone is low productivity proposition, kinda like fishing without a hook.
        Try to get at least one other person(does not need to be a hunter but should have some blaze orange on) and work the area in a staggered formation, stopping every few yards. The birds will run on the ground to get away if they think they can - only as a last resort will they fly.
        Enjoy your day in the outdoors but you may have to stop by the market on the way home for dinner.


        • #5
          Hunting pheasants, or any upland bird, without a dog is tough. It can be done. My friends and I did a lot of it when we were kids. Like others said, vary your speed. Walk up on some good-looking cover quickly, get in the cover and stop. Wait a minute or two to make the birds nervous. If you walk at a steady speed they’ll hunker down and let you walk right by. You also need to be willing to go into the thickest stuff. Stomp around in it, pause, then stomp around some more. The biggest problem is when you do get a bird up and shoot it, they can be very hard to find without a dog. If a pheasant hits the ground with just a little life in it, it will burrow into the cover where it’s nearly impossible to see. If it has a lot of life in it and can run, you’ll never see it again. A good dog will find them easily.


          • #6
            thanks for the advice guys. I have hunted with dogs before,mainly GSP and Brits. Would love to get a lab to for upland and water but right now its not in the cards. My GF has a beagle but she is older and never hunted before i met her...more of a couch potatoe. Will definately work on some of these tactics but i think my best bet is to make more friends that like to hunt....lacking in that department ha.


            • #7
              Go to a Ducks Unlimited benefit dinner or drop by a trap club. You'll likely meet the kind of folks you're looking for there. And almost certainly someone with dogs. Too bad you don't live closer. I have lots of four-legged help I could share.

              Personally, I don't care for the older women regardless if they have hunted or not. Perhaps those guys at DU could help you out with that too? ;-)


              • #8
                I've had the same problem, or similar. Flushing birds isn't as much of a problem as finding my kills in heavy cover. I'd rather not shoot it than shoot it and then not recover it. I'd be looking for a friend with a good dog that both want another excuse to get birdie.


                • #9
                  Pheasants can be tough without a dog to sniff them out but growing up in South Dakota and living off pheasants for over 20 years taught me a few things to help:

                  1. Find habitat that is as small as possible! You need to limit their ability to run and you need to get close. If you step into a wind break behind a farm house your chances are a lot better than stepping into a 2000 acre grass patch.

                  2. Hunt small grass patches and brambles in the evening! They move to these about a half hour before dark. You can hide in one and shoot them coming in. You can also walk them at dusk and jump pheasants where there were none to be found at 3:00PM.

                  3. Walk slow and stop ALL the time for at least 30 seconds! They will sit tight and wait for you to pass. They get nervous and jump if you stop long enough.

                  4. Watch for grass movement and listen for sounds around you! Unless the cover is exceptionally thick, they will try to run away from you. If you watch, you can see the grass moving occasionally. If you see this, attack on the run and stop where you saw movement. Wait for at least a minute... they will jump if they are within 25 yards.

                  5. Hunt ditches along gravel roads! They need gravel for their craws and that is where they get it in most pheasant country. This is especially effective in early morning because they like to fill their craw with gravel before feeding. At sunup, easily half the pheasants in a section will be within 10 yards of gravel.

                  6. Use blockers and lots of your buddies to drive open fields like corn fields, bean fields and sorghum fields! Don't just walk a row, walk slow, zig-zag, stop, backup, run for 15 yards... make it unpredictable and they will run. They will run fast in these fields even without a dog. When they get far enough ahead or to the end of a field, they will fly. Blockers can take them out if they are in the flight path between that field and far off cover.

                  7. Watch where pheasants land! Look constantly for pheasants flying around. If you see them land, run to that spot and get them up. Chances are better in a fence row or ditch but you can do it in the middle of a 2000 acre field if you run quickly and then stop dead still until they flush.

                  8. Always hunt toward a bottle neck or end of cover if possible! They will be running and if you don't limit their terrain, you will never catch up to them. They will sit tight in these places. When you reach them, wait at least two minutes or more. I used to drink a cup of coffee or eat a sandwich in these places and often finished a cup before pheasants started to jump.

                  9. Finally, become a maniac retriever! Don't shoot multiple birds. If you hit a bird, forget about others and attack the bird you shot as fast as humanly possible. Focus right on the blade of grass or weed that your bird hit on the way down and RUN to it. Stop when you get there and wait, looking for the bird, feathers or moving grass. About 1/3 of the pheasants hit still have enough life to run if you let them and you will never catch them if you forget where they fell or take your time walking over. If you attack quickly, they will freeze and you can find them within 10 yards of where they went down. If they attempt to run, you will hear or see them and you can outrun them and jump on them. If you see one flapping on the run at 30 yards, shoot it in the head or chances are you will never catch it.

                  I hope these ideas give you something gainful to do for a few days. You can get pheasants without a dog, you just have to start thinking more like a dog and you have to change your tactics. Best of luck to you. Wish I were there to share a pheasant dinner.




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