solo pheasant hunting


December 15, 2008, 05:54 PM

i went out today for PA's pheasant season and only managed to see 2 birds, although i heard 4 others fly away.

are there any good tactics for solo hunting pheasants?

i walked around dozens and dozens of what i perceived were pheasant bedding areas, kicking and making noise. the only time i would notice one is when i was on a deer path, in the thick of the woods, and they would stir up from about 30 yards from me.

i'm in deer country. no open fields, just random brush piles amid miles and miles of thick woods. apparently there are a lot of pheasants though, somewhere out there.

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December 15, 2008, 06:07 PM
this late in the season, roosters that are still alive have learned to run far ahead of hunters or flush outta range. Those that hung tight till they got stepped on are dead already. A quiet approach till you get to where you think they are may help keep them closer before flushing. Hunting early in the morning before they have become active and left their bedding areas or just before dark when they may be hesitant to leave the roost area works well also.

December 15, 2008, 06:18 PM
I used to hunt alone all the time, didn't have much luck until I adopted a little black lab from the pound. I read "Game Dog" by Richard Wolters then Danny and I gave it a try.
He turned into one super pheasant dog and hunted with me from his first season at 8 months until his last at 11 years.
He died a few years ago when he was 11.5. I haven't hunted a pheasant since. That is what a good dog will do to/for you. Tears forming now, gotta go................

December 15, 2008, 06:24 PM
i have 2 beagles, one of which is semi-obedient. do you think if i had her on a leash she could help find them in the bedding areas?

i have a feeling that i was standing over a lot of birds today.

it's not an option to let her just run and flush stuff out. i'd spend the better part of the day trying to find her. although she may bring back a rabbit or two.

December 15, 2008, 06:54 PM
I have to second the "get a dog" recommendation. I can't believe how many birds we would have walked right by if we didn't have a dog. You pretty much have to step right on them without a dog, IMO.

December 15, 2008, 07:03 PM
i'd like to echo claiborne and 1k... if you're gonna hunt solo, you must have a dog.

no, a beagle, especially one that can't be off the leash won't work. i've tried the beagle thing and it didn't work out.

failing the dog option, heed 460's advice, and while moving about, you need to 1- move very erratically. avoid straight lines and 2- stop for a minute or two frequently.

my advice is to forego the pheasants until you can get a solid bird dog.

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