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kanstiss

New member
I had little luck Saturday. 1 rooster bagged. I had 8 miles logged. Trigger had at least double that. Felt bad we couldn’t get more. That’s terrible to hear spirit lake area is struggling as well.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Member
I had little luck Saturday. 1 rooster bagged. I had 8 miles logged. Trigger had at least double that. Felt bad we couldn’t get more. That’s terrible to hear spirit lake area is struggling as well.
Kanstiss, how long does it take you to hunt 8 miles & what kind of dog is Trigger (assuming that's not your horse)? Just curious.
Thanks!
 

kanstiss

New member
That was hunting from 8-12 with maybe 15 minutes or so if break in the middle. We probably went 3/4 of a mile once we got back to east side of the state and hunted until 4:30. Trigger is a chocolate lab.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Member
That was hunting from 8-12 with maybe 15 minutes or so if break in the middle. We probably went 3/4 of a mile once we got back to east side of the state and hunted until 4:30. Trigger is a chocolate lab.
Kanstiss, please don't take this as being overly critical. Just trying to be helpful. I fully realize I have no idea what your experience level is, what types of cover you were hunting, or prevailing bird numbers. And I'm not sure I understand your pace, but it seems like you're saying you did 8 miles in about 4 hours. Or 2 miles/hour. If so, you might consider slowing down a bit. Not to sound like a braggart, but I'm usually pretty successful hunting alone w/ my springer. Much of my hunting results in my average pace being 1.5 mph or even less. Doesn't sound like much until you think about it. In only an hour, you'd be at least 1/2 mile ahead of me. I'm by no means an expert on hunting pointers, but I do know flushers. You've got to let them hunt while you just follow along & watch....VERY attentively. When you say Trigger may have put on twice your mileage, I have no idea how accurate that is. But I'm guessing my springer puts on easily 5 times my mileage. I'm not saying springers cover more ground than labs. I'm saying I go real slow (and quiet!!) & let him hunt. Which kind of leads to a related topic. You'll hear lots of guys say, "Always follow your dog." My interpretation of that is NOT to let him out & blindly follow him wherever he happens to go. You've got to be the one who puts him in the right type of cover at the right time and keep him on track. But along the way, always TRUST your dog!! That's my interpretation. If he goes "over there a little", it's probably for a reason & you've got to stay with him. But then come back & pick up your route. If he's stuck on a particular clump of weeds & doesn't want to leave the area, it's probably for a reason. Let him tear it apart until he's satisfied. There's a bunch more strategy I won't get into here. But there's my long-winded way of suggesting that you try slowing yourself down a little. Best of luck!
 

kanstiss

New member
Kanstiss, please don't take this as being overly critical. Just trying to be helpful. I fully realize I have no idea what your experience level is, what types of cover you were hunting, or prevailing bird numbers. And I'm not sure I understand your pace, but it seems like you're saying you did 8 miles in about 4 hours. Or 2 miles/hour. If so, you might consider slowing down a bit. Not to sound like a braggart, but I'm usually pretty successful hunting alone w/ my springer. Much of my hunting results in my average pace being 1.5 mph or even less. Doesn't sound like much until you think about it. In only an hour, you'd be at least 1/2 mile ahead of me. I'm by no means an expert on hunting pointers, but I do know flushers. You've got to let them hunt while you just follow along & watch....VERY attentively. When you say Trigger may have put on twice your mileage, I have no idea how accurate that is. But I'm guessing my springer puts on easily 5 times my mileage. I'm not saying springers cover more ground than labs. I'm saying I go real slow (and quiet!!) & let him hunt. Which kind of leads to a related topic. You'll hear lots of guys say, "Always follow your dog." My interpretation of that is NOT to let him out & blindly follow him wherever he happens to go. You've got to be the one who puts him in the right type of cover at the right time and keep him on track. But along the way, always TRUST your dog!! That's my interpretation. If he goes "over there a little", it's probably for a reason & you've got to stay with him. But then come back & pick up your route. If he's stuck on a particular clump of weeds & doesn't want to leave the area, it's probably for a reason. Let him tear it apart until he's satisfied. There's a bunch more strategy I won't get into here. But there's my long-winded way of suggesting that you try slowing yourself down a little. Best of luck!
I am a very fast walker, I will start by saying that. My wife wont even walk with me at malls/stores because I move pretty quick haha. I dont disagree with anything you're saying. The dog may have put on 5 times as much. Im not too sure as I dont track it with a GPS collar. There was some other individuals in the field as well. We tried to cover the areas the best we could without interfering with the other individuals. Once the other hunters would leave an area we would come into the same area a little later and try our luck. Some resulted in hen flushes. The other individuals were also having a slow day as well. One other hunter bagged one bird out on that land that morning. A group of hunters came out around 11:30 or so and took some shots at some roosters near a creek on the property. Im not sure if they bagged any or not. We also walked that creek line and the dog didnt get any birdiness around the area. I did see some birds wild flush across this creek though earlier in the morning, so I planned on hitting the other side up later in the morning when we made it back around, well those other hunters beat me to it and I'm assuming they were shooting at said roosters that we seen earlier. As far as experience level, 3rd year pheasant hunting. So not very seasoned. Still learning and getting around to areas.
 

Shawk

New member
I'm going to cheat and copy and paste a reply I posted in another thread... :)

Snuck out today again (big public area)... big fat zero. :/ Haven't had one of those in a while (I hunt all over). Saw a few but not much. Expected to see a few more birds with much of the corn out.... but that certainly wasn't the case. The kicker is there was nobody else down there other than another single and a group of five hunters I saw on the way out. I hunted for about 4-5 hours running two dogs (10 miles for me... 10 miles for my old pooch and 17 miles for my 2 yr old). I've had ok luck in the past... but boy, today was tough. I made one other trip that way last week and about the same... came home with the only bird I had a chance to shoot. Likely won't be heading back until winter settles in with tougher conditions and see the majority of the hunters hanging it up for the season. I'm starting to believe our numbers aren't what some have said... I put in enough miles on foot that we generally always come home with our 3 birds even in the toughest conditions... and I've only shot 4 in our 3 trips this season, weird. Not trying to be a Debbie Downer... lol... just speaking of my experience so far.
 

IA at heart

New member
I hunted a 1/2 day Tuesday in South Central, IA on some public; just me walking into the wind slow and steady, no dog. I kicked up 4 roosters and one hen. No shots fired as three were just out of range and one had flew dead between me and a guy on his tractor on some adjacent private ground. Oh well, a great day to be out anyway and nice to see some birds. I'm sure I walked by quite a few more. I need to get my "newer" pup out one of these days with me.
 

hunter94

Active member
just one piece of advice.............slow down. Your dog will sense your pace and move even faster......i guarantee you, in tough scenting conditions especially, you and your canine are walking by birds!!
 

A5 Sweet 16

Member
just one piece of advice.............slow down. Your dog will sense your pace and move even faster......i guarantee you, in tough scenting conditions especially, you and your canine are walking by birds!!
Exactly. The faster (or slower) you hunt, the faster (or slower) your dog hunts. And be vewwy quiet. If your dog has taken you hunting alone, this means hunt as much into the breeze as possible. And vary your direction (zig-zag; double-back). Pause for a minute occasionally. This doesn't thoroughly confuse roosters, but it helps you increase the element of surprise somewhat. And if you can, push them toward a barrier or break in the cover - something that might force them to hold a little bit until you get into range. And get out there & do it....a lot. Both you & your furry friend will learn what works (sometimes) & what doesn't. A hunter/dog combo who hunts a lot is bound to be more successful than the same hunter/dog who doesn't hunt a lot.
 
When I really want to shoot a bird desperately I take my 11 year old one eyed bird finder. It's a whole different game than with my ground eating 2 year old. Somehow I get more and better shots with my old dog and we sure don't speed through any cover.
 

kanstiss

New member
Today was a decent morning on the eastern side of the state. We seen about 7 roosters and 5 or so hens. 3 of the roosters were close flushes. One was bagged by my buddy. It was his first wild pheasant hunt and we got him 1. I controlled my speed much better today and I know we still walked by birds(turned around to a flushing hen) but I feel like more flushes took place since I kept the dog slow as well. All in all not a bad morning.
 

nstric

New member
Checking in ... again. Good to read some of us are having some success. My season so far has very much been similar to what you all have shared in total. I've been getting blanked in some fields, yet find 60+ birds in others. More often than not, persistence pays off and we come home with our two man limit. Some days we really have to work, however. Overall, I do think numbers are down, which surprises me given our last year of weather. In nearly all fields, the grass is much shorter/thinner than 'normal', given long bouts of no rain in the spring and early summer.

I'm contemplating heading out for a solo hunt today, and will definitely be getting the kids out on Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
 

Herky10

New member
I have been out maybe half a dozen times this season. I live in central Iowa and have hunted within an hour from home every time so far. Not seeing a lot of birds but there's enough to keep me excited. I am not limiting out every time but I haven't gotten skunked yet either! Seems to be a healthy mix of older birds and yearlings.

I am going to try east central Iowa tomorrow for the first time this season. I wish it was a little cooler but what are you going to do?

Good luck!
 
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