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  1. #1

    More on pheasant loads and pheasants

    Just back from Iowa; found that rumors of pheasant extinction are somewhat exaggerated. On a farm I've hunted for more than 20 years--cover actually better than it has been recently (NOT the case on most Iowa farms, unfortunately!), managed to take a limit. First bird came over an hour into the hunt, and I was beginning to wonder whether we were going to find anything. Then maybe another hour before I had a chance at another rooster--and it was one I should not have taken. Violated my own rule about "keep walking and you'll get closer shots". But being overly anxious caused me to put a wing-busted bird on the ground that my setter didn't find. He was doing a good job finding the birds in the first place, but relatively inexperienced on wild pheasants and not equal to my shorthairs when it comes to tracking.

    The third hour of the hunt produced roosters 2 and 3 in the bag, reinforcing my rule about being patient. My partner's knees were done before I got the last one, and I told him I was going to try one more stretch of buffer strip. Always good to know the ground. A wide spot with brush along the banks, where the creek takes a bend, produced the last bird--right where I've shot quite a few in past seasons. Would've been a perfect day, 3 chances within 30 yards, all easy retrieves for the dog, if I hadn't tried an unnecessary long shot. 1 1/16 oz British 6's (Kent Gamebore Pure Gold), 2 1/2" shells in a light 2 1/2" 12, did the job nicely. Fewer birds definitely mean more walking, but they don't necessarily mean longer shots. Patience pays off.
    Last edited by Larry Brown; November 5th, 2013 at 11:05 AM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Brown View Post
    JViolated my own rule about "keep walking and you'll get closer shots". But being overly anxious caused me to put a wing-busted bird on the ground that my setter didn't find. ...
    The third hour of the hunt produced roosters 2 and 3 in the bag, reinforcing my rule about being patient.
    So you don't count a wounded but not recovered bird against your limit? Why not?

  3. #3
    I realize some do, but I don't--at least not always. The daily limit is birds you actually take. I left that one for the predators. On the other hand, when in a group others will continue shooting birds until the collective total has been reached. I've done that at times in the past, but have since decided that I'm done shooting when I've shot my 3 roosters. Doesn't mean I won't keep hunting (most of the time I'm one of the guys running a dog), but it does mean I'll stop shooting--unless maybe someone else hits one that keeps flying and I'm able to finish it off. Different strokes for different folks.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Brown View Post

    The third hour of the hunt produced roosters 2 and 3 in the bag, reinforcing my rule about being patient. My partner's knees were done before I ghot the last one, and I told him I was going to try one more stretch of buffer strip. Always good to know the ground. A wide spot with brush along the banks, where the creek takes a bend, produced the last bird--right where I've shot quite a few in past seasons. Would've been a perfect day, 3 chances within 30 yards, all easy retrieves for the dog, if I hadn't tried an unnecessary long shot. 1 1/16 oz British 6's (Kent Gamegore Pure Gold), 2 1/2" shells in a light 2 1/2" 12, did the job nicely. Fewer birds definitely mean more walking, but they don't necessarily mean longer shots. Patience pays off.
    Larry,

    I think when using that particular load and gun, while maybe excellent for 30 yard pokes, that longer shots are not a smart thing to attempt. Surely not anything close to optimal. I'm surprised you took that longer shot.

    There's absolutely no reason for a skilled hunter, using proper loads (like a 3 3/4 - 1 1/4 - #5), not to attempt a 40/45 yard shot on an open angle rooster. Unless of course, he can't shoot well. And don't kid yourself, many of those guys who can't shoot well at 40 yards, can't do well at 30 yards either. Or even 20 yards.

    Without question, the goal for pheasant hunting (just like duck hunting) should be to get MOST of one's shooting at 25 or 30 yards. If you're not, then you should be working on improving the other aspects of your hunting.

    You like to quote Tom Roster a lot. You should consider that he has said "Every hunter should become an athlete with his shotgun, and learn to kill birds consistently at 40 to 45 yards".

    It's a nice arrow to have in your quiver when needed. But like you said, different strokes for different folks.
    Last edited by 3 Shots are Better; November 5th, 2013 at 11:52 AM.

  5. #5
    Larry,

    Thank you for the cordial reply. I'm not a big fan of party limits -- would rather go home short of a limit than take birds others have shot -- but as you indicate, much of this is not a legal question but a personal one.

    Good hunting.

  6. #6
    Eagle
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    1,564
    Moron Pheasant loads??? I resemble that!

  7. #7
    Eagle
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rockford, WA
    Posts
    145
    Larry, what general area in Iowa were you hunting? I grew up in the Ellsworth, Randall, Jewell area in the 1960's. The Soil Bank years were a definite time of plenty. My late Father was born and raised on a farm outside of Ellsworth and related the near unbelievable abundance of pheasants in his childhood prior to even that time.

    Tom
    "I have more shotguns than I need, but fewer than I want." Senator Phil Graham, Texas

  8. #8
    Eagle
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Naples FL
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    5,293
    Bud of mine did fine on pheasants outside of Tripoli on the opener...
    Ever get the feeling that you've been cheated?

  9. #9
    LB. Don't blame you any Pheasant hunter with little experience would have known where to find them.Been saying that ,right?

    I was going to try one more stretch of buffer strip. Always good to know the ground. A wide spot with brush along the banks, where the creek takes a bend, produced the last bird--right where I've shot quite a few in past seasons.

    ..Sorry to see Ol' Windy criticize you for sky busting in the heat of the moment , when in fact he goes a field with 3" mag 20's to intentionally do the same......

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by gspdog View Post

    ..Sorry to see Ol' Windy criticize you for sky busting in the heat of the moment , when in fact he goes a field with 3" mag 20's to intentionally do the same......
    Say Ol' Douche' Bag,

    Killing a rooster stone dead at 40/45 yards with a 3" shell ain't skybusting. It's hunting, numbnuts!

    I realize that's something hard for you to comprehend, but so be it. Not everyone gets to be smart. And someone has to be stupid, like you are.

    Note: Once again, you start something with your antagonism -- then cry like a little girl that you are when it gets flung back in your face.

    Boo-Hoo for little Greggie.

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