two shots on the same Rooster ?

sidecar

Member
last season was my first hunting on wild Roosters in 15 years or so. I was pretty discouraged with how many birds I knocked down that could not be found, even with good bird dogs and other hunters helping with the search. That being said, I am thinking that this next season I will try and shoot my second barrel at the rooster that I've already hit with the first barrel. I am wondering if anyone else employs this tactic ? I plan to train for this by shooting clays and then following up with a second shot on the largest part of the clay I've already shattered. Again, any and all thoughts on this practice regime are appreciated.
 

Toad

Active member
Clays practice is never a bad idea, and taking a second shot at the biggest piece left sounds like fun. :thumbsup:

I wonder if you will even have the same problem next season anyway. After you get a few birds under your belt, and the "oh crap!" panic factor of the flush goes away, you may find that you get on them quicker and shoot them deader with the first shot next season anyway. You said you took some years off hunting... Maybe just need to get back into the calm shooter's rhythm.

I know when I was shooting clays regularly and also hunting regularly during the season, I became a very deadly one-shot rooster getter. But when I haven't shot for awhile or it's early in the season, I ummm, use a lot more ammo for fewer birds. :laugh:
 

homeboy

New member
I shoot #5 Golden Pheasant loads. Start the season with Imp Cyl on the first barrel and Mod on the second. As the birds get jumpy I go to Mod on both barrels. Can't remember the last bird I didn't drop. I AM A MIGHTY HUNTER !!:thumbsup:
 

Crossing shot

New member
I used to wound many birds. Quail would fly off with a leg dangling. Started focusing on the bird's head. This is easy to practice. Attract birds to your backyard with a feeder/bird bath. Focus on the head and dry fire if your gun allows this. I dry fire in the house. Most birds getting off the ground do not require a lead.
 

RONMN

Member
When taking second shots on cripples going down the horizon and cattail tops come up fast. Where is my lab and my hunting partner?
 

Dakotazeb

Well-known member
last season was my first hunting on wild Roosters in 15 years or so. I was pretty discouraged with how many birds I knocked down that could not be found, even with good bird dogs and other hunters helping with the search. That being said, I am thinking that this next season I will try and shoot my second barrel at the rooster that I've already hit with the first barrel. I am wondering if anyone else employs this tactic ? I plan to train for this by shooting clays and then following up with a second shot on the largest part of the clay I've already shattered. Again, any and all thoughts on this practice regime are appreciated.

What gauge gun were you using? How are your barrels choked? What type of shell and size of shot? Lead or steel?

These are all factors we need to give you some good input. Also, how good a shot are you? Sounds like you are hitting the birds with the fringe of your pattern and not squaring them up.
 

BrownDogsCan2

Well-known member
If I'm hunting with a group of guys and the dogs down at the end, I'll shoot a bird that recoveres it's balance a second time. It's more like shooting a falling hedge apple.
When looking for a downed bird I'll get a good mark and let the dog do the searching before going in. I think too many searchers can get confusing for the dog.
 

1pheas4

Super Moderator
If a rooster appears to be alive after the first shot/hit I always hit him again as long as it's safe and possible. Otherwise the chase is on. That's when an experienced pheasant dog kicks in.
 

Stonebroke

New member
No offense, but I question how good the dogs are you are using. A good dog should find the vast majority of birds that are knocked down. When we knock a bird down and can't find it, we circle quite a ways downwind from where we saw the bird fall and work our way back so the dogs have the wind in their face... A wounded bird will usually run a ways and then borrow into cover and try to hide. If the cover is light and you push the bird from behind rather than circling around, you'll push the bird out and he'll continue to run. A wounded pheasant can run very fast for a very long ways. Many years ago I knocked a rooster down and he hit the ground running. We had a light dusting of snow the night before, so I could see what the bird was doing. He followed cow trails along a creek and we finally caught up with him over a half mile from where he fell.
 

RONMN

Member
I shoot clays and still struggle with falling birds, while shooting pheasants if I take that extra step to get my feet right I do much better on first shot.
 

david0311

Active member
David0311

If I'm hunting with a group of guys and the dogs down at the end, I'll shoot a bird that recoveres it's balance a second time. It's more like shooting a falling hedge apple.
When looking for a downed bird I'll get a good mark and let the dog do the searching before going in. I think too many searchers can get confusing for the dog.

Again excellent advice--people stomping in with the dogs screws them up--most times-:cheers:
 

westksbowhunter

Well-known member
No offense, but I question how good the dogs are you are using. A good dog should find the vast majority of birds that are knocked down. When we knock a bird down and can't find it, we circle quite a ways downwind from where we saw the bird fall and work our way back so the dogs have the wind in their face... A wounded bird will usually run a ways and then borrow into cover and try to hide. If the cover is light and you push the bird from behind rather than circling around, you'll push the bird out and he'll continue to run. A wounded pheasant can run very fast for a very long ways. Many years ago I knocked a rooster down and he hit the ground running. We had a light dusting of snow the night before, so I could see what the bird was doing. He followed cow trails along a creek and we finally caught up with him over a half mile from where he fell.

Dogs probably are not very good and an inexperienced hunter equals lost birds. Those numbers come down with experience. I have seen my dog trail a running rooster over a 1/2 mile on several occasions. 99% of the dogs in the field would never find these cripples and I will never own another dog in my lifetime with his ability. Guess we all get lucky once in a while. He will be 10 this year with not much sign of slowing down but I know he just has a couple of years left.

Put as much lead as possible in a pheasant before it reaches the ground. Shoot an automatic versus an over and under. And shoot the most expensive shells you can buy. Hunt with an experience hunter if you can.
 

Crossing shot

New member
I had an incredible retrieving britt. Never lost a bird with her. She would bring back birds that I thought were missed. Her granny was good. Some dogs are better retrievers than others. My best retriever was not my best pointer. Best pointer let best retriever retrieve.

Last year was a hard year on dogs. Hot and dry for almost the entire season. Probably should not judge a dog's retrieving ability on last year's season.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
Lots of good commentary going on here. This will be mostly repetitive, but I want to chime in & try to condense some of it while inserting plenty of opinion (some pretty biased, but based on lots of experience). The first thing is attitude. You have to want them as dead as you can possibly get them. Do enough shooting/hunting that you're able to take that extra second to get your footing & body position right & really SEE the bird (preferably his head). Without really seeing him, your hand/eye coordination isn't coming fully into play. Being calm comes w/ experience, but once you get there, your shooting will improve a lot. It takes effort, but take an extra second & make that 1st shot count & don't be so worried about follow-ups. A5 Sweet 16 is the most effective gun, but you can easily get by w/ an inferior make/model and even a 20 or 12 (little humor there). Minimum 20. My opinion on chokes: Leave IC at home, much like a 3-iron. Use MOD all year until late season when they're extra tough & wild. Then go IM or FULL. Avoid high velocity unless shooting steel. Minimum lead velocity 1200-1250. 1300-1350 is perfect. Limit lead velocity to 1350 unless you've done extensive patterning (correctly) & KNOW you're holding things together. (patterning can be important w/ ALL shot material) Steel....#3.....maybe #4. Everything else......#5....maybe even #4 later on. Not that 6's don't work, but they're most appropriate on closer birds & we don't want to be limiting ourselves that way. Limit your shots to 35 yards until you start to improve, especially since the dogs are obviously not seasoned pheasant dogs. Until the dogs improve, try to find a good springer to hunt with. (That's another attempt at humor, guys. Not that there isn't some truth behind it, but the intent is humor.) ;););)
 
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A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
I have seen my dog trail a running rooster over a 1/2 mile on several occasions. 99% of the dogs in the field would never find these cripples and I will never own another dog in my lifetime with his ability.

I thought the same thing about my 1st dog. He was phenomenal & I would've put him up against any other in terms of getting that bird in the bag. Lo-&-behold, my 2nd one is turning out to be just as good. He's not quite as naturally mean-spirited toward roosters, but his aggression toward cripples is improving. My point is that there will be dogs out there that will surprise you. My opinion is it's primarily a matter of how much they hunt & that you let them figure things out on their own. There's no way I can teach a dog how to find or flush birds. Retrieving is a little different, even though with some dogs it too is unnecessary.

Anyway, I must assert my opinion that it's really important to get a dog on the spot ASAP once a bird falls. With inexperienced dogs, that will likely require guidance on your part until they get the idea to get on the bird by themselves. But once they're there, you stay put until the dog finds him. No need to spread human scent all over & confuse matters. And give the dog as much time as he/she needs. Too many guys give up prematurely. This is how dogs learn. And once they realize that after 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes they eventually bump into a bird, they'll figure it out & will improve.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
So don't worry about shooting the bird twice. Do it if you need to (some birds require it), but there are several more effective ways to increase the percentage of birds in the bag.
 

sidecar

Member
Thanks for all the replies. I shoot a 16 ga. SxS with skeet I and Skeet II chokes. 1 1/8 oz lead shells. Very good suggestions on concentrating on shooting / looking at the head, as opposed to the full bird. Also excellent suggestions on improving my footwork prior to the mount. Conditions were dry last year, so that may have been a factor. While the bird dogs belonged to my hunting companions , I will say that the dogs are very well trained and had been seasoned over lots of wild birds. We did the trick of dropping a hat where the bird went down and then letting the dogs sniff around all they wanted prior to the guys stomping in for a look. That being said, the dogs were pointers as opposed to flushers. My little Springer (gone some years now - but still in my heart and sometimes even my dreams) was very good at finding wounded / downed birds; she also excelled at flushing birds some 100 yds. away from her master... I will endeavor to become a " Headhunter" and see how that works out. Always a pleasure, Gentlemen !
 
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