Solo Approaches

Flush em up

New member
This season has been tougher than others for solo hunting. I find most my pheasants in "structure". Alot of red willows, and other brush. This season I have had the worst luck on the "structures" blocking my shooting. Ive had my dog work up wind while I am on the other side and vice versa. Doesn't seem to matter but those smart old roosters seem to out wit me and get away. Does anybody have a good strategy on how to approach areas like this? Do pheasants tend to get up with or against the wind more often than another?

Thanks
 

Toad

Active member
It is definitely tricky when you're walking up to an obstacle. If it's a shelterbelt, you could try zigzagging so you get a little time at each side. If you only cover one, it is a guarantee they will use the other side to slip you.

Whenever I hunt by myself, I always think I would be more effective with another guy. Whenever I hunt with a friend, we talk about how nice it would be to have a third guy. Four people is my limit though. After 4, you have too many opinions about where to eat lunch...
 

ehudgens

Member
I mainly hunt by myself. I feel your pain with what you are talking about. One thing I love about hunting by myself is I can be totally quiet. When I approach a piece of cover no matter how big or small, I am completely quiet. I can still hear my dad whispering to me "don't slam the car door." I don't use a bell or a whistle, and my dog is an old veteran, so he knows the game, and I don't have to say or yell anything to him.

As far as rooster getting up, and you don't have a shot, I don't know, that's just the way it goes. If you can put yourself in range, that's really all you can do. I always try to hunt into the wind for 2 reasons, obviously the dog scents better, and the birds can't hear you as well.

Another tactic I've used many times is I'll park my car on the downwind side of a piece of cover, and walk to the other side obviously a couple hundreds yards away from the cover, and hunt upwind. I've found the car will make them hold at the end similar to a blocker. Sometimes I leave the radio playing with the windows rolled down just to make birds think someone is talking.

Hope this helps. I don't claim to be any kind of expert. Good luck this fall.
 

Matt D

Member
I mainly hunt by myself. I feel your pain with what you are talking about. One thing I love about hunting by myself is I can be totally quiet. When I approach a piece of cover no matter how big or small, I am completely quiet. I can still hear my dad whispering to me "don't slam the car door." I don't use a bell or a whistle, and my dog is an old veteran, so he knows the game, and I don't have to say or yell anything to him.

As far as rooster getting up, and you don't have a shot, I don't know, that's just the way it goes. If you can put yourself in range, that's really all you can do. I always try to hunt into the wind for 2 reasons, obviously the dog scents better, and the birds can't hear you as well.

Another tactic I've used many times is I'll park my car on the downwind side of a piece of cover, and walk to the other side obviously a couple hundreds yards away from the cover, and hunt upwind. I've found the car will make them hold at the end similar to a blocker. Sometimes I leave the radio playing with the windows rolled down just to make birds think someone is talking.

Hope this helps. I don't claim to be any kind of expert. Good luck this fall.
Have used the radio truck before and it can be effective.
 
One thing about hunting solo, that I really like, is being able to not hunt, if I don't feel well, or my dog doesn't.Also, it's easier to make decisions.
 

Labs

Member
I mainly hunt by myself. I feel your pain with what you are talking about. One thing I love about hunting by myself is I can be totally quiet. When I approach a piece of cover no matter how big or small, I am completely quiet. I can still hear my dad whispering to me "don't slam the car door." I don't use a bell or a whistle, and my dog is an old veteran, so he knows the game, and I don't have to say or yell anything to him.

As far as rooster getting up, and you don't have a shot, I don't know, that's just the way it goes. If you can put yourself in range, that's really all you can do. I always try to hunt into the wind for 2 reasons, obviously the dog scents better, and the birds can't hear you as well.

Another tactic I've used many times is I'll park my car on the downwind side of a piece of cover, and walk to the other side obviously a couple hundreds yards away from the cover, and hunt upwind. I've found the car will make them hold at the end similar to a blocker. Sometimes I leave the radio playing with the windows rolled down just to make birds think someone is talking.

Hope this helps. I don't claim to be any kind of expert. Good luck this fall.

Good advice. I hunt by myself a lot, being quiet and the truck trick are good strategies. I have an advantage as I hunt with at least 2 and sometimes as many as 4 labs, which really makes it tough on the birds trying to keep track of the threats. This often results in the birds running from one only to be flushed by another. I help my dogs by zig zagging back & forth across the tree line or shelterbelt.

It's my experience that pheasants generally flush upwind then quickly turn downwind and hit the afterburners. The stronger the wind, the more likely this will happen. Sunday of opening weekend up here I hunted in a foot of snow with winds 30+ gusting to 45MPH. The birds were tight in low tree cover, couldn't run well in the fresh snow, and were reluctant to get up in the wind. This situation resulted in several mass flushes when they were pushed to the end of the cover where I couldn't shoot for all the hens in the air with the roosters. When those birds turned downwind, they were really moving. A couple times I couldn't swing fast enough to get in front of a rooster before it was out of range. Got my limit, but it was one of the most interesting days of pheasant hunting in over 50 years I've been doing it...
 
My favorite way to hunt is with my dog. I follow him wherever he goes.
Yeah, I get that having two labs is awesome.i'd love to have that!! Or a lab, and a german wirehair that are best buds.I' m going to try the zig zag thing, because I hunt solo a lot.I always do better when there is a strong wind, and it's butt cold.That's my wheelhouse, and Montana has a lot of it! It reminds me of hunting snows in Saskatchewan in late October.I guess, having 3 safe guys, and 3 goid dogs, is ideal for hunting a coulee.
 

vrepola

New member
99% of the time I hunt solo. Sometimes it’s hard to cover ground. A lot of the time I just turn the dogs loose and follow them. I’m convinced they are way better at finding birds than I am. I run pointing dogs and they cover a lot of ground for me. I try to hunt fields with an edge of a feature that the birds can relate to. On those days they are out in the open follow the dogs.
 
99% of the time I hunt solo. Sometimes it’s hard to cover ground. A lot of the time I just turn the dogs loose and follow them. I’m convinced they are way better at finding birds than I am. I run pointing dogs and they cover a lot of ground for me. I try to hunt fields with an edge of a feature that the birds can relate to. On those days they are out in the open follow the dogs.
I agree, follow the dog.Its always me, and my best friend, chasing roisters on the high plains.It's a blast, i love it.
 
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