Tips for first timer....please
Brine them and cook them like doves or duck.It's a lot of walking and very little shooting. Great for getting yourself and the dogs toned up and in fighting form for upland season. Option B is to pattern the chickens and then just hide and wait for them to fly by, pass shooting them. But, personally, I don't think PC is all that great of table fare, so I usually just go to run the dogs and get some miles. I will shoot them over a point, but I personally wouldn't pass shoot them just because they don't taste all that good to me.
You can be successful foot-hunting them in big pastures with about any type of dog if you are willing to put in the boot miles too. If you have a pointy dog that gets out there pretty wide and holds a point, it works much better. I've shot them over a golden retriever, but I was in my 20's. I would have to be pretty desperate to do that now... haha.
Have fun chasing them, and good luck! Let me know if you find a good recipe for them.
matto I heard that walking with the wind at your back is about the only way to get close to them with a flushing dog because they will get up into the wind and hang there for a second.I tried last year for the first time in a couple of decades. The roads were a mess and I couldn't get to several of the places I planned to go. Finally found a WIHA I could reach without risking getting stuck and rutting up the roads. We found some Chickens, but couldn't get close enough for a point or a kill. I only had a pup with me since my old dog was nursing an injury. She acted birdy once when the wind was right, but the birds flushed at probably 60 yards. Another time the wind was wrong and somehow they flushed on the edge of range. I threw up a hail mary and didn't connect. I was expecting to find them in light cover (at least to this pheasant hunter's eyes), but it was much lighter than I would have guessed. And they were on the tops of the hills, where cover was lightest, and it was raining lightly.
The really surprising thing is that we saw a group of about 6 hunters with maybe 4-5 dogs hunting the same very large WIHA. I didn't expect to have competition for chicken hunting spots.
I'm going again this year, but attitude is much like Toad's. It's about exercise and practice for the dogs.
I tried to eat them years ago when I pass shot them flying into feed fields. If you like ducks and doves, you'll like Chicken. I don't. If I shoot one this year I'll eat it, but I wouldn't be disappointed to come home with just tired dogs and a couple of empty shells.
Many places that used to have a lot of prairie chickens have not had a chicken on them in over 30 years. I don't know what part of SEK you are from, but we used to have quite a few in cherokee county. They were still a few to hunt in the early 80's but the last one I saw was around 1991. Have not seen one in that county since.I recall my dad taking me as a young kid on opening mornings of chicken season. Early morning hours and the country roads lined with vehicles as everyone set up to pass shoots the chickens. I don't think there is a chicken within three countys of that spot now.
I'm hoping to make a trip or 2 to try my hand at getting one pointed this year but it's more just an excuse to get the dogs out than anything.
Good the hear that they're still there and glad you got one! I headed up this weekend.matto, Thanks for the tip. Ended up finding some chickens. Missed an easy one and then took one in the field east of there. I can cross that off list. Allergies hit me as hard as dove hunting only with hills. I can see why it's a pointing dog game. Have two maybe three hours to cover some ground before the temp hits the mid 80s. We did allright though. Working with wind at our back the singles flushed close. Skeet tube would have been a better choke. The one flock found the dog ran through at about 50. If she wasnt headed for the pond we would have gotten a shot. Thanks for the help guys.
Yep that's the spot. I didn't see but the two. There's a pondGreat photo. We were planning to go the 22nd, but rescheduled to the 28th. We saw plenty and shot one. My son missed an easy one in the hayfield that's just off camera to the right, if that's the spot I'm thinking of. It was even pointed! Packed up and headed home about 11 just as the rain was coming in. It seems I'm crazy enough to hunt chickens, but not crazy enough to hunt them in the rain.