Author Topic: Got my first pheasant today  (Read 208 times)

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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Got my first pheasant today
« on: November 04, 2017, 06:14:41 PM »


I've been to this WMA a couple of times in past years and was never successful. This year I went with a couple of friends and we met up with another group of hunters who had a well trained dog, and everyone got at least one bird.

Utah DNR will release a total of 10,000 pheasants statewide this season, a little at a time before each weekend (and a little early the week of Thanksgiving) to give everyone a good opportunity to get a bird. The season runs from November 4 to December 3 this year. At the peak of Utah's pheasant hunting in the 1970's there were 100,000 hunters hunting pheasant. That number has dropped quite a bit and this year they expect 20,000 hunters. It's also supposed to have been a good year for chicks hatching with early spring rainfall making plenty of food and cover.

I spotted this rooster about 75 feet ahead of me before the dog caught the scent. I was able to walk up to about 25 feet away and the bird remained motionless. I backed up to about 35 feet and let the dog flush him, and I took him at about 15 feet in the air.

I've got a great chicken and sausage gumbo recipe in the food and cooking section and I'm going to add this pheasant in along with a couple of chicken breasts next time I cook it. It's a nice big bird, almost as big as my chickens. If I can get away to hunt for another day this month I might be able to get enough pheasant to skip the chicken in the recipe. In any case, I think I like bird hunting a lot better than deer hunting.  8)

Offline hunter63

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Re: Got my first pheasant today
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2017, 07:02:44 PM »
Congrats.....Looks like some good looking tail feathers on that one.....
Love that cackle as they flush.

Most of ours are all planted birds these days.....gotta kick them in the butt to get them to fly...LOL

Haven't hunted them for a while...lost my best dog a few years ago....Spent a lot of time a effort on the training.
Nothing beats watching a good dog work, ....unless it doing a double retrieve on ducks.

Every fall I would to buy 10 birds, from a breeder friend....and use them for dog training.....

Didn't shoot them just let the dog work them.....They would come back and wait by the pen....where the food was in the morning.
Any left after season was over I would just open the pen....leave food and water.
Most headed to the neighbors farms as the had corn and beans..

Few made it till spring....but didn't get any chicks that I know of...
Geezer Squad, Evoking the 50 year old rule..First 50 years, worried about the small stuff, second 50 years....Not so much

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Got my first pheasant today
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2017, 07:53:48 PM »
Congrats.....Looks like some good looking tail feathers on that one.....
Love that cackle as they flush.

Most of ours are all planted birds these days.....gotta kick them in the butt to get them to fly...LOL

Haven't hunted them for a while...lost my best dog a few years ago....Spent a lot of time a effort on the training.
Nothing beats watching a good dog work, ....unless it doing a double retrieve on ducks.

Every fall I would to buy 10 birds, from a breeder friend....and use them for dog training.....

Didn't shoot them just let the dog work them.....They would come back and wait by the pen....where the food was in the morning.
Any left after season was over I would just open the pen....leave food and water.
Most headed to the neighbors farms as the had corn and beans..

Few made it till spring....but didn't get any chicks that I know of...

Yeah, seeing this dog today makes me wish I had the time to put in training one. It is truly a marvel to behold. I'm not even sure what breed is was. Looked like a smallish yellow Lab mixed with something else. But when he'd find a bird in a bush he would point rock solid until his owner told him to flush it and then up comes the bird. I hope they give him a lot of treats tonight.  :D

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Got my first pheasant today
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 08:01:58 PM »
Congrats PW.

I remember my first bird like it was yesterday.  I also remember the last one I shot about ten years back.  In the fifty years or so of bird hunting I went through 5 great dogs.  When the last one died I just decided it was time to quit.
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Offline hunter63

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Re: Got my first pheasant today
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2017, 10:18:15 PM »

.

Yeah, seeing this dog today makes me wish I had the time to put in training one. It is truly a marvel to behold. I'm not even sure what breed is was. Looked like a smallish yellow Lab mixed with something else. But when he'd find a bird in a bush he would point rock solid until his owner told him to flush it and then up comes the bird. I hope they give him a lot of treats tonight.  :D

Sound like a little yellow dog that I hunted with along with a shepard mix and a black lab....

Story alert ....We make stories when we are young to relive later....LOL

Gotta tell you this story ..It's one of my favorite hunting with dogs stories.
I had posted it elsewhere when talking about ML shotguns.

Did use a ML 12 ga  SXS DB on a memorable pheasant hunt .

We have a public hunting grounds with planted birds...but has goofy rules...
Opens a 9;00 am, closes at 2:00pm.
Got a permit...so wanted to try the SXS.

Working in the factory...I figured I would go in and get my (was boss) shift started...head out at 8:00 come home, change clothes, ...gather up the dogs, gun, bags ...and head out about to the hunting ground about 20 miles away.

Pulled into the parking lot, about 1/2 hour late...in my ratted out 1972 Dodge work/hunting/ fishing/camping van, ....rusted and beat up.

In the parking lot was several Suburbans and 4X4 pick-up with dog boxes, guy with upland get-ups, O/U's...and their high buck "hunting dogs"

As I got out, I let my dogs out.....Shasha, shepherd mix, ...Duchess, black lab, and the fat little yellow dog(?)...Named "Hooker"...she hated the gun going off, would kinda cower till it was over....but was gonna go anyway.

Lab headed to the first puddle she saw and rolled in it, ...shepard was waiting for me just shaking with excitement  ...little yellow dog was out terrorizing all the "Hunting dogs" in the crates.

Pulled out the muzzle loader. and started loading it up.....
Guy says "Hey, are you putting that in the wrong end?...Hahaha

Got both barrels loaded ...and realized I didn't have the box of caps ???....

Knowing I wasn't get those dogs back in the van, I knew we needed to at least take a walk..

Digging around in the possibles bag found only one cap...kinda green and molding looking......so capped up one barrel
And headed out...

Guy says " We just worked all these fields with our dogs...there are no birds...."
"Yeah well...we are going for a walk anyway"....Even though I had only one shot....LOL

Nothing in the first field ....second field, the lab started working a scent... trail went into a hedge row....Little yellow dog was in the tunnel in a flash ..running the length...shepard was waiting at the end...and flushed the bird.
Bird flew up and roosted on limb (pen raised bird).....

So with only one shot....I shot it out of the tree......LOL, Yeah I know , not real sporting...

Picked up my bird and we started heading back to that parking lot....with 3 goofy dogs and my bird,.... that they found...where those dogs didn't .....

Guy says..."What the heck kinda of dogs are those?..and what are you shooting?"
I said "Them's, HUNTING dogs,... and Pappaw would be proud of Old Betsy......."

Loaded up the dogs and went home with my bird...

Lesson learned....always carry spare caps in a little leather disc... hanging from the trigger guard.

I miss those dogs...we had a ball together........... But I don't miss that gun....traded it off as it kind had some blow back of hot powder.
Geezer Squad, Evoking the 50 year old rule..First 50 years, worried about the small stuff, second 50 years....Not so much

Offline madmax

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Re: Got my first pheasant today
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2017, 04:07:43 AM »
Congrats.  I'd love to bag a pheasant.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Got my first pheasant today
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2017, 09:45:02 AM »
First of all, congrats on your first raucous Chinese ringneck, Ron.....and h63, I really enjoyed your hunting story, that's called 'poetic justice' I think. ;D

I have a story to tell, too, but don?t have the time right now.....like the Terminator, I'll be back! 8)
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Offline imnukensc

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Re: Got my first pheasant today
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2017, 09:56:37 AM »
Nice bird!  No pheasant here.  Doves, ducks, quail, and turkey.  And for the last many years, quail are few and far between.
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: Got my first pheasant today
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2017, 07:46:29 PM »
Good going PW!  That's great!  I love pheasant hunting!  That's a nice one too!  Love the colors and the long tails on a mature rooster! 
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Offline hunter63

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Re: Got my first pheasant today
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2017, 08:00:33 PM »
First of all, congrats on your first raucous Chinese ringneck, Ron.....and h63, I really enjoyed your hunting story, that's called 'poetic justice' I think. ;D

I have a story to tell, too, but don?t have the time right now.....like the Terminator, I'll be back! 8)

I would like to hear it.....
LOL...seems we have a younger hunter making his own.....That's what it's all about......Enjoy!
Geezer Squad, Evoking the 50 year old rule..First 50 years, worried about the small stuff, second 50 years....Not so much

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Got my first pheasant today
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2017, 08:51:06 PM »

.

Yeah, seeing this dog today makes me wish I had the time to put in training one. It is truly a marvel to behold. I'm not even sure what breed is was. Looked like a smallish yellow Lab mixed with something else. But when he'd find a bird in a bush he would point rock solid until his owner told him to flush it and then up comes the bird. I hope they give him a lot of treats tonight.  :D

Sound like a little yellow dog that I hunted with along with a shepard mix and a black lab....

Story alert ....We make stories when we are young to relive later....LOL

Gotta tell you this story ..It's one of my favorite hunting with dogs stories.
I had posted it elsewhere when talking about ML shotguns.

Did use a ML 12 ga  SXS DB on a memorable pheasant hunt .

We have a public hunting grounds with planted birds...but has goofy rules...
Opens a 9;00 am, closes at 2:00pm.
Got a permit...so wanted to try the SXS.

Working in the factory...I figured I would go in and get my (was boss) shift started...head out at 8:00 come home, change clothes, ...gather up the dogs, gun, bags ...and head out about to the hunting ground about 20 miles away.

Pulled into the parking lot, about 1/2 hour late...in my ratted out 1972 Dodge work/hunting/ fishing/camping van, ....rusted and beat up.

In the parking lot was several Suburbans and 4X4 pick-up with dog boxes, guy with upland get-ups, O/U's...and their high buck "hunting dogs"

As I got out, I let my dogs out.....Shasha, shepherd mix, ...Duchess, black lab, and the fat little yellow dog(?)...Named "Hooker"...she hated the gun going off, would kinda cower till it was over....but was gonna go anyway.

Lab headed to the first puddle she saw and rolled in it, ...shepard was waiting for me just shaking with excitement  ...little yellow dog was out terrorizing all the "Hunting dogs" in the crates.

Pulled out the muzzle loader. and started loading it up.....
Guy says "Hey, are you putting that in the wrong end?...Hahaha

Got both barrels loaded ...and realized I didn't have the box of caps ???....

Knowing I wasn't get those dogs back in the van, I knew we needed to at least take a walk..

Digging around in the possibles bag found only one cap...kinda green and molding looking......so capped up one barrel
And headed out...

Guy says " We just worked all these fields with our dogs...there are no birds...."
"Yeah well...we are going for a walk anyway"....Even though I had only one shot....LOL

Nothing in the first field ....second field, the lab started working a scent... trail went into a hedge row....Little yellow dog was in the tunnel in a flash ..running the length...shepard was waiting at the end...and flushed the bird.
Bird flew up and roosted on limb (pen raised bird).....

So with only one shot....I shot it out of the tree......LOL, Yeah I know , not real sporting...

Picked up my bird and we started heading back to that parking lot....with 3 goofy dogs and my bird,.... that they found...where those dogs didn't .....

Guy says..."What the heck kinda of dogs are those?..and what are you shooting?"
I said "Them's, HUNTING dogs,... and Pappaw would be proud of Old Betsy......."

Loaded up the dogs and went home with my bird...

Lesson learned....always carry spare caps in a little leather disc... hanging from the trigger guard.

I miss those dogs...we had a ball together........... But I don't miss that gun....traded it off as it kind had some blow back of hot powder.

Hehe, great story. Thanks for sharing that! Yeah the more dogs I see as time goes on, the more I figure it's less about the breed and more about their own personality. I've had purebred dogs that were awesome  (as pets, I've never had a hunting dog) and mutts that were awesome. Just like anything else in life, you get out what you put in. The more time you spend making a "language" with your dog so you can communicate, the better they will know how to do what you want them to do. It seems like every dog I've had needed a different set of grunts and whistles and words to "talk" to them. :D

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Got my first pheasant today
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2017, 09:03:24 PM »
Also, thanks to everyone for all the congratulatory words!

I grew up in Louisiana, where the license plates say "Sportsman's Paradise". It really is a great state for duck hunters for sure. But my dad wasn't into hunting and my grandpa had already given it up long before I was old enough, so I didn't really have any opportunities to learn it as a kid. It's nice to be able to do it now, and I am fortunate to have met a few good guys to go with. I hope we can continue going for many more years.

It really does tell you how out of shape you are when you carry a 7.5 pound gun around with no sling for 5 hours, walking on uneven ground the whole time. I need to get out more, badly! Everything that could ache, ached this morning. I took 3 ibuprofen and that seemed to sort things out, but I definitely need to start taking regular walks and try to get in better shape.

Offline OffGrid9

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Re: Got my first pheasant today
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2017, 12:35:32 AM »
...I didn't really have any opportunities to learn it as a kid. It's nice to be able to do it now, and I am fortunate to have met a few good guys to go with. I hope we can continue going for many more years.

It really does tell you how out of shape you are when you carry a 7.5 pound gun around with no sling for 5 hours, walking on uneven ground the whole time. I need to get out more, badly! Everything that could ache, ached this morning. I took 3 ibuprofen and that seemed to sort things out, but I definitely need to start taking regular walks and try to get in better shape.

As you said, meeting friends with whom you can hunt is a real blessing.  Over the years, I had several friends give up on hunting because they just couldn't find folks to hunt with.  The trick I learned is to start contacting family and friends EARLY, like six months before hunting season, and start getting buy-ins and promises.  You can't just keep bugging them, but a couple of months before opening day, you can start reminding them when the seasons run for various birds, suggesting places to go for each species, ask them for suggestions, figure out where you're going to camp, whose bringing tents, who'll do the cooking, or maybe which motel you could stay at.  Send them pictures of past hunts, Fish & Game's projections of bird populations, anything to keep everybody's eyes on the prize, another great hunt with good friends.  Place wagers on who'll limit first on doves, who'll get the first rooster, who can get their dog to run down those @$%& chukkar and kick them into the air ALL WITHIN GUN RANGE!  You get the idea, just keep everyone excited and committed.  And keep doing it every year for decades, into your 70's and beyond.  And try to entice youngsters to come along, even before they can hunt, to watch the action and catch the fever, then get them into NRA safety courses, then get them started on clays, and then take them hunting.  Most youngsters will catch the fever if you introduce them, without pressure, to the whole world of shooting and hunting.  We all have to keep in mind -- without a new generation of hunters, we're a dying breed.

As to getting into shape for pheasant hunting, to steal a page from Teflon Bill, "I feel your pain".  Until I was about 50, working behind a desk, I was in pretty sad shape.  The first day, especially for pheasant, would always cripple me up pretty bad.  Then I found a large area of heavy brush in a local park that I was free to walk through, off season, much like the mixed brush and tall grass we have to push through during pheasant season in the Feel Free To Hunt areas of the Yakima Valley.  About two weeks before opening day, I'd put on my "iron pants" (denim pants with large patches of heavy nylon on the front of the legs), carry a 10-bound chunk of driftwood as if it were a shotgun, and bust my way through that practice area for an hour or two.  I'd take breaks every half hour or so, but I made sure to put in equal time on (a) just pushing my legs through the brush, and (b), lifting my legs to step over the brush.  My legs and hips would be on fire for two days...and then I'd do it again.  After one day off, do it again.  Then two days in a row.  On opening day, I could mostly keep up with the younger hunters.  But what was REALLY nice was, on the second day, when the youngsters were all in pain, I could go out and do it again.  Sweet!
From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away.  ― Raymond Chandler, from The High Window   [ LSHISM ]

Offline Mannlicher

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Re: Got my first pheasant today
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2017, 08:16:18 AM »
wish we had 'em down in Florida.   That is a nice looking bird!