2020/21 Upland Season

RDG

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With the pheasant season opener today the Upland Season has officially kicked off.
We've been chasing woodcock with no success since the early Oct opener

Today we hit the pheasant fields bright and early and shot our limit in about 20 minutes then decided to try for some woodcock instead of calling it a day. We must have had a decent sized flight come through here in the couple days cause he had no problem locating birds today. We ended up with a limit of woodcock too.
He just turned 4 this year and I'm so proud of him. He's a machine in the uplands... this is going to be a great upland season.

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Mark from MA

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Got my daily limit Saturday.
Unfortunately dog woke up favoring her right leg. Looks like her ankle joint is swollen.
Not good. I took week off to bird and bowhunt
 

lazypengu1n

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This all started for me because a friend of a friend invited me Sea Duck hunting in ME. I've been competing a lot in ATA and started with a Beretta A400 Multi-Target and eventually moved to a 692 X-Trap. I recent got interested in Sporting Clays, 5 Stand and Skeet so and plan on using my A400 Multi-Target for those disciplines. I sold all my previous shotguns to fund the two Berettas and those were the only ones I had. I ended up picking up another Beretta, this time a A400 Xteme Plus Synthetic. I decided on the grey/black over the camo finishes. With the Sea Duck hunt coming up in 3 weeks, I had to get all my things together. Picked up my Fed. Duck Stamp, did some research on Chokes and went with a PatternMaster Goose since my gun is designed for shells up to 3.5"

With all that said, here's where Pheasant hunting came into play for me. I was talking to some guys I shoot trap with weekly and they mentioned they'd take me Pheasant hunting but in MA. I started researching, reading, watching YouTube videos and found info on Pheasant hunting in NH - Where they are stocked and when. That lead me to find a place near me. Had my friend who works at Bass Pro pick me up a nice Upland pants and jacket. I also picked up my shotgun that I ordered and the choke (which wasn't going to use for Pheasant anyways as it throws a Full Choke pattern). Everything was here and I picked up the appropriate licenses. With about 2.5 hours left of day light and a 45 minute drive, I decided to at least get out there and scout the area even though I had no clue.

I get there and see other people already walking the edges of the field with their dogs. I grab my stuff and start walking. I had my earing pro on and glasses in my pocket. Not sure if I needed them or not but eventually the hearing pro was a PITA and I took it off 1/2 hoping to see a bird and not wanting to go deaf. I walk 1/2 the property and run in an older lady who is alone with her two dogs. She says hello and askes me I've seen any birds. I respond and tell her no and which direction I had come from. We started talking a bit and I mentioned I've never done this before and this was my first try. She was nice enough to let me walk with her and her two dogs. We continue talking about hunting, she's giving me the run down of the area and how things work and etc. At the end, she stated that we was going to come back on Thursday and Friday to give it a go when they release the birds and invited me to come along. I was surprised and very thankful and appreciated the kind gesture.

Long story but I wanted to set the stage for how I got into this and how it all started. I put in for 1/2 day off work for Thursday and Friday, hopefully I'll be able to get something and if I don't, that's ok. Just nice to get out there and do all this. Definitely a strange experience for the uninitiated but I think a few outings and I'll feel more familiar with how things work and get more comfortable with the idea of walking around with a shotgun in an environment that isn't my local gun club/range shooting at things in open fields (totally go against everything I've learned besides shooting clays).
 

Mountain

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With the pheasant season opener today the Upland Season has officially kicked off.
We've been chasing woodcock with no success since the early Oct opener

Today we hit the pheasant fields bright and early and shot our limit in about 20 minutes then decided to try for some woodcock instead of calling it a day. We must have had a decent sized flight come through here in the couple days cause he had no problem locating birds today. We ended up with a limit of woodcock too.
He just turned 4 this year and I'm so proud of him. He's a machine in the uplands... this is going to be a great upland season.

View attachment 400705


View attachment 400706

Awesome pup. How'd you train him?

Beautiful shotgun too. What is it?
 

whacko

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This all started for me because a friend of a friend invited me Sea Duck hunting in ME. I've been competing a lot in ATA and started with a Beretta A400 Multi-Target and eventually moved to a 692 X-Trap. I recent got interested in Sporting Clays, 5 Stand and Skeet so and plan on using my A400 Multi-Target for those disciplines. I sold all my previous shotguns to fund the two Berettas and those were the only ones I had. I ended up picking up another Beretta, this time a A400 Xteme Plus Synthetic. I decided on the grey/black over the camo finishes. With the Sea Duck hunt coming up in 3 weeks, I had to get all my things together. Picked up my Fed. Duck Stamp, did some research on Chokes and went with a PatternMaster Goose since my gun is designed for shells up to 3.5"

With all that said, here's where Pheasant hunting came into play for me. I was talking to some guys I shoot trap with weekly and they mentioned they'd take me Pheasant hunting but in MA. I started researching, reading, watching YouTube videos and found info on Pheasant hunting in NH - Where they are stocked and when. That lead me to find a place near me. Had my friend who works at Bass Pro pick me up a nice Upland pants and jacket. I also picked up my shotgun that I ordered and the choke (which wasn't going to use for Pheasant anyways as it throws a Full Choke pattern). Everything was here and I picked up the appropriate licenses. With about 2.5 hours left of day light and a 45 minute drive, I decided to at least get out there and scout the area even though I had no clue.

I get there and see other people already walking the edges of the field with their dogs. I grab my stuff and start walking. I had my earing pro on and glasses in my pocket. Not sure if I needed them or not but eventually the hearing pro was a PITA and I took it off 1/2 hoping to see a bird and not wanting to go deaf. I walk 1/2 the property and run in an older lady who is alone with her two dogs. She says hello and askes me I've seen any birds. I respond and tell her no and which direction I had come from. We started talking a bit and I mentioned I've never done this before and this was my first try. She was nice enough to let me walk with her and her two dogs. We continue talking about hunting, she's giving me the run down of the area and how things work and etc. At the end, she stated that we was going to come back on Thursday and Friday to give it a go when they release the birds and invited me to come along. I was surprised and very thankful and appreciated the kind gesture.

Long story but I wanted to set the stage for how I got into this and how it all started. I put in for 1/2 day off work for Thursday and Friday, hopefully I'll be able to get something and if I don't, that's ok. Just nice to get out there and do all this. Definitely a strange experience for the uninitiated but I think a few outings and I'll feel more familiar with how things work and get more comfortable with the idea of walking around with a shotgun in an environment that isn't my local gun club/range shooting at things in open fields (totally go against everything I've learned besides shooting clays).
Good deal. Glad your out there. Hope you have some success.

Advice on hearing protection and I may catch hell for this. Been hunting for many years and never use it. When hunting I don't ever remember even hearing a bang honestly and my ears have never rang after a hunt.....that includes deer rabbit ducks turkey.....everything. I get my hearing tested every year at work and no signs of loss ever. I was even Inside a hmmwv in Iraq in 2003 when someone fired an m 4 for suppressive fire out the window.....ears rang for about 24 hours and im fine even my military hearing tests came back with no change until I retired in 2018. Inside a building or vehicle gunfire is bad news. Shooting trap 50 rounds on a Sunday over time or handguns at plate shoots and steel challenge obviously that'll mess you up. But imo firing a few dozen shots outside in the open at pheasants or whatever I've never had a problem.
 

lazypengu1n

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Good deal. Glad your out there. Hope you have some success.

Advice on hearing protection and I may catch hell for this. Been hunting for many years and never use it. When hunting I don't ever remember even hearing a bang honestly and my ears have never rang after a hunt.....that includes deer rabbit ducks turkey.....everything. I get my hearing tested every year at work and no signs of loss ever. I was even Inside a hmmwv in Iraq in 2003 when someone fired an m 4 for suppressive fire out the window.....ears rang for about 24 hours and im fine even my military hearing tests came back with no change until I retired in 2018. Inside a building or vehicle gunfire is bad news. Shooting trap 50 rounds on a Sunday over time or handguns at plate shoots and steel challenge obviously that'll mess you up. But imo firing a few dozen shots outside in the open at pheasants or whatever I've never had a problem.

Thanks for the information. One less thing to worry about. I have a set of compact hearing pro that I use when I shoot ATA so I might just keep that in my bag just incase. The lady mentioned to me that the first hour when they release the birds, it's none stop shooting for about an hour as everyone gets their bird. Again, no hear pro is going against the grain that been beaten into me. I'll have to give it a shot and let everyone know how it goes.

Just about 24 hours and I'm getting excited. I hear they taste just like chicken!
 

Mountain

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Good deal. Glad your out there. Hope you have some success.

Advice on hearing protection and I may catch hell for this. Been hunting for many years and never use it. When hunting I don't ever remember even hearing a bang honestly and my ears have never rang after a hunt.....that includes deer rabbit ducks turkey.....everything. I get my hearing tested every year at work and no signs of loss ever. I was even Inside a hmmwv in Iraq in 2003 when someone fired an m 4 for suppressive fire out the window.....ears rang for about 24 hours and im fine even my military hearing tests came back with no change until I retired in 2018. Inside a building or vehicle gunfire is bad news. Shooting trap 50 rounds on a Sunday over time or handguns at plate shoots and steel challenge obviously that'll mess you up. But imo firing a few dozen shots outside in the open at pheasants or whatever I've never had a problem.

I concur. I'm pretty obsessive about ear pro but never ever use it when hunting.
 

whacko

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Thanks for the information. One less thing to worry about. I have a set of compact hearing pro that I use when I shoot ATA so I might just keep that in my bag just incase. The lady mentioned to me that the first hour when they release the birds, it's none stop shooting for about an hour as everyone gets their bird. Again, no hear pro is going against the grain that been beaten into me. I'll have to give it a shot and let everyone know how it goes.

Just about 24 hours and I'm getting excited. I hear they taste just like chicken!
Very dry chicken.

I make pheasant in a pot pie or roast the breast wrapped in bacon.

When there are alot of birds around and lots of shooting in a field......don't be surprised if you get some pellets raining down on you. It happens.
 

RDG

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Awesome pup. How'd you train him?

Thanks
I really think I just got lucky. He's my first bird dog and I really think its like 99% genetics.
I did like Richard Wolters books on training... kind of a nice simple approach. I think his methods work for someone that just wants to be able to hunt with his dog on the weekends.

Beautiful shotgun too. What is it?

FAIR Rizzini NEA 400 in 16G with 28" pipes... its my go to Upland gun[/QUOTE]
 

RDG

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Got out again today for a little while. Flushed 3 woodcock and was able to connect with one.

He flushed up a couple cottontails but shooting game still on the ground just feels weird and I always hesitate.
The second one I was able to get a bead on and send one flying. Really though I hit it but nothing.
Searched the area for a good 15-20 min and had to accept I didn't hit it... should have tried harder to shoot the first one.
 

lazypengu1n

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Today's the day. Hopefully I will have some pictures to share later. I do have a question regarding shot size. I looked up online and there is a lot of talk about using #4 #5 #6 shot for pheasants.

What I have in my current ammo stash are the following

Federal Steel - #7-1/2
Federal Speed Shok - #2
B&P Mythos Valle Steel 34 (#3 in Europe) #4 shot in USA

The #2's are probably not needed - I picked up those for Sea Duck hunting. Should I go with the #7-1/2 or #4 - Once again, I've never shot anything but #7-1/2, #8, #9 in competition and it's weird to me to shoot anything larger.

My gut says #4 but I wanted some input from you guys who had experience and I'll go with what you think/recommend.
 

whacko

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Today's the day. Hopefully I will have some pictures to share later. I do have a question regarding shot size. I looked up online and there is a lot of talk about using #4 #5 #6 shot for pheasants.

What I have in my current ammo stash are the following

Federal Steel - #7-1/2
Federal Speed Shok - #2
B&P Mythos Valle Steel 34 (#3 in Europe) #4 shot in USA

The #2's are probably not needed - I picked up those for Sea Duck hunting. Should I go with the #7-1/2 or #4 - Once again, I've never shot anything but #7-1/2, #8, #9 in competition and it's weird to me to shoot anything larger.

My gut says #4 but I wanted some input from you guys who had experience and I'll go with what you think/recommend.
Use the #4 that you have.

I'll add my 2 cents. I shoot Remy extended range 4 5 6 size shot for all my upland and small game hunting. Its 1 1/4 ounce at 1330 fps. Its about $15 a box when its on sale. I stack it deep when I find sales I buy a bunch. It works great. I personally don't find it necessary to buy Prarie storm......black cloud.....super duper whatever loads at $25 a box or even more to bag a bird rabbit or squirrel......the green and yellow box has never failed me.....if I miss.....its my fault not the ammo.
 

whacko

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Today's the day. Hopefully I will have some pictures to share later. I do have a question regarding shot size. I looked up online and there is a lot of talk about using #4 #5 #6 shot for pheasants.

What I have in my current ammo stash are the following

Federal Steel - #7-1/2
Federal Speed Shok - #2
B&P Mythos Valle Steel 34 (#3 in Europe) #4 shot in USA

The #2's are probably not needed - I picked up those for Sea Duck hunting. Should I go with the #7-1/2 or #4 - Once again, I've never shot anything but #7-1/2, #8, #9 in competition and it's weird to me to shoot anything larger.

My gut says #4 but I wanted some input from you guys who had experience and I'll go with what you think/recommend.
Just curious....what choke are you using?
 

lazypengu1n

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Thanks everyone I will be using mysterious B&P Mythos Valle Steel 344 Euro Ammo I have 4 cases of (400rds) that are equivalent to #4 shot steel.

I normally shoot with a Modified Choke in competition up to 22y from the house - It also appears Modified is probably the tightest I want to run using steel. I was thinking of going with a modified choke. Any other suggestions/recommendations are welcomed and much appreciated.
 

whacko

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Thanks everyone I will be using mysterious B&P Mythos Valle Steel 344 Euro Ammo I have 4 cases of (400rds) that are equivalent to #4 shot steel.

I normally shoot with a Modified Choke in competition up to 22y from the house - It also appears Modified is probably the tightest I want to run using steel. I was thinking of going with a modified choke. Any other suggestions/recommendations are welcomed and much appreciated.
If your hunting alone and flushing birds yourself......you'll be very surprised how close you'll get before a bird goes up especially stocked pheasant. I've had to kick birds in the ass with my foot to get them to go up. My point.... your going to be making close shots in this scenario. I'd go IC especially with steel shot but thats just me. If your hunting over a pointer that holds till you get up to the bird.....same thing....close shots. If your hunting with a dog that just flushes.......farther shots are possible so I'd go mod or even IM.
 

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If your hunting alone and flushing birds yourself......you'll be very surprised how close you'll get before a bird goes up especially stocked pheasant. I've had to kick birds in the ass with my foot to get them to go up. My point.... your going to be making close shots in this scenario. I'd go IC especially with steel shot but thats just me. If your hunting over a pointer that holds till you get up to the bird.....same thing....close shots. If your hunting with a dog that just flushes.......farther shots are possible so I'd go mod or even IM.

Thanks! I'll keep that mind. These dogs from my understanding are pointers. There's going to be a TON of people there today. The lady did mention that when other people miss, that I might have an opportunity to take them. Not sure how I feel about that either, at least yet. How's that work? I'd hate to get into a situation where there a disagreement of who's bird it is.

I'll bring the factory choke set (F,M,IM,IC,C) that came with my gun. I've seen a few videos on YouTube where people flush the bird and absolutely smoke the bird cause they shot it like 10 yards away and there's not much left.

I have a set of Comp N Chokes (LM,M,IM,LF,F) that I use for competition and never used LM - at least not yet. I used only IM/M in Singles / Double / Handicap in my O/U.

Do you think LM would be the best compromise between IC and M? I'd like to be able to get them close up and if they happen to get out a little further. Given it's my first time, I rather take an extra second or two before lighting off the round. If LM will go I'll use the Comp N Choke otherwise IC will be the factory choke.
 

whacko

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Thanks! I'll keep that mind. These dogs from my understanding are pointers. There's going to be a TON of people there today. The lady did mention that when other people miss, that I might have an opportunity to take them. Not sure how I feel about that either, at least yet. How's that work? I'd hate to get into a situation where there a disagreement of who's bird it is.

I'll bring the factory choke set (F,M,IM,IC,C) that came with my gun. I've seen a few videos on YouTube where people flush the bird and absolutely smoke the bird cause they shot it like 10 yards away and there's not much left.

I have a set of Comp N Chokes (LM,M,IM,LF,F) that I use for competition and never used LM - at least not yet. I used only IM/M in Singles / Double / Handicap in my O/U.

Do you think LM would be the best compromise between IC and M? I'd like to be able to get them close up and if they happen to get out a little further. Given it's my first time, I rather take an extra second or two before lighting off the round. If LM will go I'll use the Comp N Choke otherwise IC will be the factory choke.
If your hunting woth good trained pointer and steel I would personally go LM because steel patterns tigher than lead. You'll never be able to cover every scenario......but you play the odds. If someone else misses and you have a chance at a longer shot.....it is what it is.

I went put on a pheasant stocked field alone with a ic choke kicking brush for Pheasant and done ok......birds have popped up at my feet and flogged me on the way up with their wings and I was glad to have the ic choke in. Thats where I'm coming from. Others may have different advice.
 

RDG

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I'd shoot those #4's with an IC choke especially with steel. But I prefer more open chokes this early. Birds tend to flush closer.
Good luck today.
Remember to have fun.
 

lazypengu1n

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If your hunting woth good trained pointer and steel I would personally go LM because steel patterns tigher than lead. You'll never be able to cover every scenario......but you play the odds. If someone else misses and you have a chance at a longer shot.....it is what it is.

I went put on a pheasant stocked field alone with a ic choke kicking brush for Pheasant and done ok......birds have popped up at my feet and flogged me on the way up with their wings and I was glad to have the ic choke in. Thats where I'm coming from. Others may have different advice.

I'd shoot those #4's with an IC choke especially with steel. But I prefer more open chokes this early. Birds tend to flush closer.
Good luck today.
Remember to have fun.

Alright, looks like I'll be running IC and see how it goes. I am going to go today and tomorrow so I guess I'll see how it goes with IC. Leaving in 30 and hope I'm home early!
 

lazypengu1n

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Tagged a Rooster and Hen on my first outing. The dogs were pretty cool. One of the birds got away from us. That one, the dog was literally stepping on it before it flushed.

Took longer to mount the gun and make sure no one was in the way and the birds got out there. These two were taken on 2nd and 3rd follow up shots pretty far away. I may try a M choke tomorrow given how far out | slow my reaction time is.

Not sure if other people were playing fair cause there was people shooting before 12 and the place was packed when I got there at 11:50am. Apparently, some dude shot (peppered) another dude and NH F&G were down.

Looking forward getting back out again tomorrow. Now time to figure out to dress these things and make some good eats.

Thanks for all the great advice given to me by everyone. I appreciate it very much.

D362F690-1770-4927-8999-60860489BFB3.jpeg
40668D33-E5F2-4ADC-B22D-5271F9D2A8DF.jpeg
 

whacko

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Tagged a Rooster and Hen on my first outing. The dogs were pretty cool. One of the birds got away from us. That one, the dog was literally stepping on it before it flushed.

Took longer to mount the gun and make sure no one was in the way and the birds got out there. These two were taken on 2nd and 3rd follow up shots pretty far away. I may try a M choke tomorrow given how far out | slow my reaction time is.

Not sure if other people were playing fair cause there was people shooting before 12 and the place was packed when I got there at 11:50am. Apparently, some dude shot (peppered) another dude and NH F&G were down.

Looking forward getting back out again tomorrow. Now time to figure out to dress these things and make some good eats.

Thanks for all the great advice given to me by everyone. I appreciate it very much.

View attachment 402442
View attachment 402443
Congrats.

The whole thing about getting "peppered" is what got me to stop pheasant hunting in mass. It turns into a frigging circus some days. Too many hunters and not enough land.
 

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Tagged a Rooster and Hen on my first outing. The dogs were pretty cool. One of the birds got away from us. That one, the dog was literally stepping on it before it flushed.

Took longer to mount the gun and make sure no one was in the way and the birds got out there. These two were taken on 2nd and 3rd follow up shots pretty far away. I may try a M choke tomorrow given how far out | slow my reaction time is. ...

Nice.

For me, it's not often much of a surprise when a pheasant takes flight. The dogs will get birdy and/or I'll hear the bird taking flight before I see it. So I'm constantly scanning my surroundings, keeping an eye out for other hunters, dogs and nature lovers. I've crossed paths with a walker(s) out there quite few times, and they weren't wearing any blaze orange.

As for dressing the birds, I pinch the skin over the breast and make an incision large enough to get my fingers into. Then I peel back the skin over the rest of the bird. I slice the breast meat off, and take the legs if it's a large bird. I have plucked an entire bird. Once. The remainder of the bird gets stored in the freezer, for later in the season when it's time to feed Wile E.
 

lazypengu1n

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I looked up a YouTube video and it showed how to pull the coat off and clean up the insides. Wasn’t bad after the first one. I didn’t think the skin was so delicate like a rabbit. The rooster are definitely much bigger. I can see that shot did some serious damage to the bones in the bird.

Breasted and quartered the thighs, those will be some good eats. The rest of it, we usually make a Asian porridge with chicken but we’ll try the pheasant this time and see how it comes out.

I was pretty hungry when it was hunting them and now it’s time to cash in.
 

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Used a Vietnamese Lemongrass recipe and subbed in the pheasant. Came out awesome. No gamey smell or taste.

View attachment 402509
No gamey taste?!?!?

Let's come down do reality mkay?

Your eating a farm raised bird that was pulled from a cage, boxed up and on the back of a truck maybe 3 hours before you killed it so there shouldn't be any gamey taste. In all reality......You didn't hunt for it. You paid for a license to fund a government agency to buy them from a farm and plant them in a field for you to shoot. I'm fine with all of this by the way.....I just feel it's not really "hunting".

If you want to be a hunter......go out and harvest a wild game animal with scouting and skill. I'm not saying all this to being you down......just providing some perspective.

Enjoy your dinner. You paid for it. 🤣
 
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lazypengu1n

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No gamey taste?!?!?

Let's bring you back down do reality mkay?

Your eating a farm raised bird that was pulled from a cage maybe 3 hours before you killed it so there shouldn't be any gamey taste. In all reality......You didn't hunt for it. You paid for a license to fund a government agency to buy them from a farm and plant them in a field for you to shoot.

Enjoy your dinner. You paid for it. 🤣

You are 100% right. Poor choice of words and understanding on my part. Never ate anything other than supermarket birds and guess this isn’t much different.
 

whacko

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You are 100% right. Poor choice of words and understanding on my part. Never ate anything other than supermarket birds and guess this isn’t much different.
Its really the same as a bird in the store.

This is your first dive into hunting. Enjoy it. Next step......go out and scout land for rabbits......turkey......hell even squirrel I've gotten damn good at filling a freeze full of those every fall for winter stew. Once you start stocking up wild game in the freezer you'll enjoy it more. I enjoy a rabbit meal way more than a pheasant from new England....because its actually a wild animal I found myself.
 
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