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Author Topic: Advice For The New Bird Hunters  (Read 6182 times)

Offline Naches Sportsman

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Advice For The New Bird Hunters
« on: October 18, 2016, 10:33:16 PM »
These are some of the things that I tell people younger than me when I take them upland bird hunting for the first time. These are the principles I believe in.

Be fit cardio wise. If you can't run more than a mile or two at a time, you shouldn't be upland hunting. Being fit is important so you can get around easier, and cover more ground efficiently.

Know the rules. Study the bird regs front to back several times and know what every limit is and what all the rules are. Pass Hunters Education.

Study the game species. Get on Google and do some research. Another option is to go to your local library and find bird books. Study the books.

After you study the bird species you are interested in, look at a map of the state you live in. Are their areas where you are likely to find those species?

Scout. Spend money on gas and burn boot leather. Go explore. You won't learn squat about an area if you're sitting on your butt at home.  See what the area holds.

Know that you are going to get skunked. It's called hunting for a reason. If you are in it for killing, buy chicks at the hardware store and raise your own birds for food.

Don't ask for people's spots. I have had people follow me around and ask me before, and I state some/all of these principles to them.

Notice that I haven't mentioned a dog anywhere. Until you are consistently putting up limits or close to limits, there is no reason for a dog. A dog is useless if you are in an area that doesn't hold birds. A bird dog takes a lot of time to train and get ready to hunt.


No longer a WA resident.


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Offline JODakota

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Re: Advice For The New Bird Hunters
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2016, 10:41:50 PM »


Notice that I haven't mentioned a dog anywhere. Until you are consistently putting up limits or close to limits, there is no reason for a dog. A dog is useless if you are in an area that doesn't hold birds. A bird dog takes a lot of time to train and get ready to hunt.

This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Some of us hunt birds because of our dogs. It isn't always about limits and the kill.
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Offline Old Dog

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Re: Advice For The New Bird Hunters
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2016, 11:10:32 PM »

Be fit cardio wise. If you can't run more than a mile or two at a time, you shouldn't be upland hunting. Being fit is important so you can get around easier, and cover more ground efficiently.


 :yike:  I'm nearly 64 years old with double knee replacements, and I'm not running anywhere.   >:(

I still get out upland hunting with my dog, and do 4 or 5 miles depending on terrain.   :IBCOOL:

I also agree with JODakota.  I've been upland hunting for just over 50 years, and I can't imagine doing it without a dog.   :dunno:
Hunt hard and shoot straight!

Offline Smossy's Girl

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Re: Advice For The New Bird Hunters
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2016, 11:22:00 PM »
... thank you for deciding to post this information for those seeking it!
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Offline 87Ford

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Re: Advice For The New Bird Hunters
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2016, 11:52:58 PM »
Until you are consistently putting up limits or close to limits, there is no reason for a dog. A dog is useless if you are in an area that doesn't hold birds. A bird dog takes a lot of time to train and get ready to hunt.
If it weren't for my dogs, I wouldn't hunt birds.  For me, it's ALL about the dogs, not shooting "limits or close to limits" :twocents:

Offline JeffRaines

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Re: Advice For The New Bird Hunters
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2016, 12:05:20 AM »

Until you are consistently putting up limits or close to limits, there is no reason for a dog. A dog is useless if you are in an area that doesn't hold birds. A bird dog takes a lot of time to train and get ready to hunt.
If it weren't for my dogs, I wouldn't hunt birds.  For me, it's ALL about the dogs, not shooting "limits or close to limits" :twocents:
[/quote]

I think Naches is not saying that a dog doesn't help - I think he is giving some people a reality check. Some people think that the reason they aren't finding any birds is because they don't have a dog, and he's just saying that getting a dog isn't going to fix your inability to pick a birdy area. Getting a dog isn't going to take you to 'master hunter' status(if there is such a thing).

Thats my take on it anyway.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 11:41:41 AM by jackelope »

Offline NW-GSP

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Re: Advice For The New Bird Hunters
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2016, 04:00:19 AM »
Without a dog I would have not found the majority of birds I have shot nor found them in the first place.

Offline fethrduster

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Re: Advice For The New Bird Hunters
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2016, 07:02:22 AM »
Without a dog I would have not found the majority of birds I have shot nor found them in the first place.

+1

A well trained dog will find far more birds than a guy on foot ever can, not to mention it adds so much more to the experience.  If I didn't have my setter, I wouldn't bother going.

Offline fethrduster

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Re: Advice For The New Bird Hunters
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2016, 07:04:34 AM »

Scout. Spend money on gas and burn boot leather. Go explore. You won't learn squat about an area if you're sitting on your butt at home.  See what the area holds.

Know that you are going to get skunked. It's called hunting for a reason. If you are in it for killing, buy chicks at the hardware store and raise your own birds for food.


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Offline jennabug

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Re: Advice For The New Bird Hunters
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2016, 07:13:17 AM »
These are some of the things that I tell people younger than me when I take them upland bird hunting for the first time. These are the principles I believe in.
:D :tup:

Offline birddogdad

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Re: Advice For The New Bird Hunters
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2016, 07:17:40 AM »
Until you are consistently putting up limits or close to limits, there is no reason for a dog. A dog is useless if you are in an area that doesn't hold birds. A bird dog takes a lot of time to train and get ready to hunt.
If it weren't for my dogs, I wouldn't hunt birds.  For me, it's ALL about the dogs, not shooting "limits or close to limits" :twocents:


 :yeah: The experience with my dogs is ALL that matters when upland hunting....but I do agree, be in shape~ upland hunting is not easy (especially chukars)
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Offline JLS

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Re: Advice For The New Bird Hunters
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2016, 07:26:16 AM »
I agree wholeheartedly on the comments about dogs.  I would not hunt birds much at all if I didn't have a dog.  It just adds so much more to the experience, particularly if you have trained the dog yourself.  We are a team, pure and simple, and getting to watch him work is amazingly rewarding.

All that said, I think the point the OP was trying to make is that you can hunt birds without a dog.  I did it a lot in college.  It was much more the norm than the exception.  I killed some roosters and I killed some chukars.  I am sure I walked by a lot of birds, and I know I lost some cripples that a dog would have found.  I also found some birds by diligently poking around in the rocks and looking for feathers.

Yes, having a dog is pointless if you can't identify good bird habitat.  However, if you are hunting without a dog, and assuming that there are not birds there because you don't see them flush, you are misleading yourself.  Chukars don't always flush wild, nor do Huns or pheasants.  We all know how tight these birds can and will sit.  The takeway here is just because you don't see the birds, don't assume they are NOT there.  You will have to broaden your abilities as a bird hunter and look for droppings, scratchings, etc.  For a dogless hunter, snow is a blessing beyond compare.

Don't run out and buy a bird dog just because you THINK you might hunt it.  I hunt my dog nearly every week, usually 2 times a week.  He works well because I work him often, and I because I am consistent in what I expect.  Don't think you can take a dog out on opening day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas and have an all-star hunting dog.  He'll hunt about like you shoot if you only do it three times a year.
Matthew 7:13-14

Offline floatinghat

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Re: Advice For The New Bird Hunters
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2016, 07:41:59 AM »


While I don't agree with every paragraph as written there is merit to the logic. 

Being in shape helps

Know what you are shooting and limits, be on the legal side of the law

Do some research on your own

I won't buy chicks but a roasted Chicken now and then

A well trained dog is A) A lot of work B) expensive.  For me nothing better than watching my female lab in the field she is driven, competitive, and a natural  Our male is a rehome, goof ball, little competitive drive, but he has a blast without understanding what was trained out of his instinct.  I am hoping he gets there. 

All of these are measured on expectation.  Depending on how success is most often driven by effort and commitment (depending on how you measure success, for me it's the experience).

Offline Rainier10

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Re: Advice For The New Bird Hunters
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2016, 07:51:30 AM »
Thanks for posting your opinion and advice.  I am sure that will be helpful to some.

Interesting that the very first reply is someone saying it is the dumbest thing they have ever heard.

I guess some people just have to be negative and then the piling on begins, sorry about that.  :sry:

Thanks again for posting your thoughts.
Pain is temporary, achieving the goal is worth it.

I didn't say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.

Every father should remember that one day his children will follow his example instead of his advice.


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.

Offline JLS

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Re: Advice For The New Bird Hunters
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2016, 08:00:19 AM »
Interesting that the very first reply is someone saying it is the dumbest thing they have ever heard.

I guess some people just have to be negative and then the piling on begins, sorry about that.  :sry:.

Some people seem to lack the ability to convey a message with grace and tolerance.

The notion posed by the OP is certainly not true.  As I noted above, even in very good habitat you are going to miss birds that don't flush.  Saying there is no reason for a dog is very misleading at best.
Matthew 7:13-14

 

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