One thing you learned

Swagdaddy

Member
"What is one thing you learned this year that will make you a better pheasant hunter next year?"
I'll start.
On a hunt in Northwestern Kansas in mid January this year, the wind was steady at 35 MPH and gusting to 50 MPH. I knew they would be in cedar tree windbreaks, which they were. I learned they also like to go low. Nearly every dry tailwater pit that had decent cover held birds.
We had our best day of the year in miserable conditions!
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
I'd known this, but this season it was particularly prevalent/clarified......
Roosters, particularly 2nd year birds, like to hang out in wet cattails during warm afternoons. Muddy or even a little standing water.
I think their logic is: 1) obviously, easy access to water, 2) cool, 3) plenty of running room, 4) they eat some of the crud the find (duckweed, etc.).
 

Swagdaddy

Member
A5 Sweet 16... you're the man! I'll be following your comments this spring and summer as I gain new knowledge on those wiley SD roosters. I hunted in this magical state last year for the first time and plan on going back next year.

I would love to hear from you other seasoned ( or like me, just starting to get seasoned ) hunters.
 

Labs

Active member
When you find shotgun shells, buy as much as you can afford/as much as they will sell you...

But seriously, not so much learned as reiterated; trust your dog(s)...
 
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JonS

New member
I learned that a good dog is worth way more birds. My buddy's German Shorthair Pointer passed and we hunted over a mut that didn't know what birds were. Got a griff last week and going to work with NAVHDA and others this summer and spring once shots are done and hunt her this fall. Should be fun
 

Golden Hour

Active member
While it is something I have picked up over the years, this past season reiterated to me that it doesn't take much to hide a pheasant. Sage and I found a number of roosters loafing in the shorter grass, away from the cattails/slough edges.
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
you may think you know ALL of a particular farmer's land holdings...a farmer you have known for 25+ years...but then you learn you're wrong!!! And had you known all this time, your hunting would have been a bit better for all of those years...:cry:
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
another lesson/reminder--follow your instincts, anticipate where birds are likely to be, and get out of the truck and hunt it...once on the ground, follow your dogs...they know!!!!!
 

Nugent

Well-known member
Yes, I second this.



You just learned this? I figured that out 20 years ago!
I lost a dozen birds because I couldn't find any lead shells. I'm not going to buy that expensive bismuth load. 12 dollars a box steel.
 

gimruis

Active member
I lost a dozen birds because I couldn't find any lead shells. I'm not going to buy that expensive bismuth load. 12 dollars a box steel.
Ya that definitely sucks. I'd probably do the same thing if I couldn't find the ammo I wanted too. It may come to that if the current demand on ammo keeps up until next season...
 

5 stand

Active member
I lost a dozen birds because I couldn't find any lead shells. I'm not going to buy that expensive bismuth load. 12 dollars a box steel.
Nugent this information may be irrelevant, because you didn't elaborate on the size of steel shot or chokes you use, and you may already be doing this. I have found that #2 or # 3 steel, works best for me on pheasants. I know this goes against the grain but thick chokes (IE mod / improve mod) work best for me, a lot less cripples. Mentally it's hard to screw in those thick chokes, but if you're tired of cripples try it. You might have a few more misses, but if you're a killer like me you'll just mash that head a little harder on that stock, and good things will happen. I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way. It was just a thought that came to mind.
 

matto

Member
We all know pheasants will run when they're knocked down, if they are able. This year I had a front-row seat to just how fast they can be when motivated. It's tough to believe if you don't see it. In both cases the birds travelled 50+ yards from the fall site before I got there, and I try to get there in a hurry. I only know because the birds ran out of CRP grass and made break for it down the rows of a milo field.

It seems that every year one or more get away because someone unloads and/or relaxes before the end of the field. This year it was me, but I have an excuse. We were pushing out some CRP towards a 65mph federal highway and I called my dog in to leash her up for the last 50 yards. I don't like that situation and I'll gladly leash the dog and be an observer. But the guy next to me in the line wasn't ready when the rooster jumped about 30 yards from the end.
 

mgorvi

Active member
Wind is your friend. Nothing covers sound better. Gotta be out in front tho, or you pluck tail feathers.
 

Golden Hour

Active member
I learned that steel, is not nearly as good as lead.

If I might ask, what size steel were you shooting? Back when I was in high school, I was doing so much waterfowl and public land shooting, that I finally said "heck with it" and switched to 100% steel. As a guy who cycles a few rounds between ducks and pheasants still to this day, I've found #2 in 3" is my wheel house. I also shoot with a tight choke (Patternmaster Code Black Duck). The tight pattern and fewer pellets results in some missed shots, I know it all too well, but I have it dialed in where I don't lose many when I do hit them. Aside from not having to use different shells, steel does a nice job of not tearing up the meat. Anyway, I'm a steel guy and can definitely empathize that making a switch from lead is a big difference in terms of knockdown power.
 
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