Tell me about chicken hunting.

Toad

Active member
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.
 

s.davis

Member
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.
Brine them and cook them like doves or duck.
 

hunter94

Active member
what Toad said.......also, bacon wrap them along with an old tennis shoe.....bake slowly and enjoy the shoe!
 

matto

Member
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.
 

BrownDogsCan2

Active member
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.
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'm really just going out for the walk. Do you guys ever see quail or pheasants in the same field as chickens?
I'm thinking north central maybe northwest if I need to. Haven't really looked at a walkin map yet. Thanks for the help guys.
 
The Smoky Hills and the Flint Hills are the better spots. Native grass Pastures with good bug populations , hunt the tops of hills and lots of boot Leather . Run a pointing dog if you have one .
 
I agree with wkbowhunter.

All of the chicken hunters I know shoot them in a small window after sunrise or just before sunset. They will fly from the "feed" fields to their roost areas in the evening. Many times, in quite large numbers. When you find a good pattern, it should be easy for your group to limit out. As usual, the hard work is finding the pattern.

I have seen county dirt roads lined with trucks and numerous hunters crouched in the bar ditch toward the incoming flight direction. Although, that was many years ago - I don't know how the numbers of birds match up to hunters recently.
 
I haven't hunted chickens in 30 years, so my data is certainly out of date.

However, in that time period we used to see flocks in the air that you could follow by car if they were parallel to the roads.

We also used to see big flocks in cut soybean fields. They would be cleaning up all of the beans that reached the ground. A flock of 60-80 is easy to see in a bean field after a snow has knocked the cover flat.
 
My Best Prairie Chicken hunting story:

My little brother and a group of his buddies had a good chicken spot in the Kansas Flint Hills. They would frequently get a shot with the bird flying straight at them, and sometimes a bird would fall right at their feet.

Of course, one of his friends had the bright idea to try and catch a shot bird. Pete lined up beside the best shooter, who subsequently hit a bird that was headed almost right at them. Pete ran over and squared up on the bird like a soccer goalie. The bird hit him flush in the sternum and knocked him flat on his a**. The ensuing 10 minutes of raucous laughter may have scared away the remainder of the chicken flights for that evening.

It turns out that a 2.5 lb bird travelling at 35 MPH packs quite a wallop.

They all got up early the next day to go quail hunting, but Pete was complaining he was having trouble breathing. He pulled up his shirt for an examination, and revealed a bruise the size of a volleyball. Once again, sparking a round of laughter.

Rumor has it, that they decided having the dogs retrieve downed quail was a much safer sport than catching prairie chickens in the air!
 

Jet

Member
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.
 

westksbowhunter

Active member
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.
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.
 

BrownDogsCan2

Active member
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.
 

BirdGuy

New member
We've got our annual PC hunt on the skeddy for Oct 4th-6th. Last year we at least saw a few, maybe this year we will get a shot off at one. Regardless, always a good time to get the dogs out and run!
 

matto

Member
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.
Good the hear that they're still there and glad you got one! I headed up this weekend.
 

matto

Member
Great 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.
 

BrownDogsCan2

Active member
Great 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.
Yep that's the spot. I didn't see but the two. There's a pond
at the northwest end of that pasture before you get to the milo that the dam blew out on and another little pond right there beside the blowout,,,if a person were into it it would
be a pretty nice little dove shoot after chicken hunting. Lot of dead trees down in there they were roosting in.
Good luck when you get out again, I appreciate the help, it was a lot less intimidating for a first timer knowing that there were chickens to be found.
 
Top