2020/21 Upland Season

whacko

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Bumped 2 rabbits in an hour and a half. No shots though. I found a sweet honey hole for rabbits I tell you. Hunting them solo is possible but damn.....its easier with a partner and of course better with a dog. When I retire I'm getting a pair of beagles for sure.
 

Mark from MA

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Yeah.....tread lightly when it comes to buying a dog. If you only hunt a bit, its not worth it. Plus if you only hunt MA state birds 6 birds is
not worth it. My dog is a pet, but she's a very high strung pet that needs significant exercise, that many people would never want to put in the time.
This will be my last dog. I will either pay to hunt when this one goes, and I have friends that will always have dogs, that will let me use them anytime.

Like anything you don't do enough, if you only hunt a few times your better off renting. It ends up being cheaper. A dog comes with time investment, vet investment, food investment. Anything it chews investment, anything it ruins by crapping on investment. Add it all up.....just like a fishing trip, its cheaper to pay once or twice, then own the whole boat. As I age, its how I look at a lot of things now......if Im not using it a lot, I'm renting it. I don't want it hanging around, and I don't want to store, maintain or deal with it.

As far as how the season's going......Weird year. I'm limited out on state birds already. Had a week off because I had extra vacation time. Every place I hit last week was well stocked. Add to that I was shooting poorly with a new double and was taking extra shots because of a few misses. Had some wild flushes as well, and a lot of the birds did not get up well until they were well past shooting range. I had at least 6 birds skim the ground 2-3 feet then finally get up high enough about 100 feet out. It basically saved their lives, because I won't shoot a low bird,even if nothing is behind it.

Ending up trading the double today a KTP for 50 dollars less than I paid for it. Guess it was a rental.....LOL.

I'll still hit addieville and the preserve club on Saturdays. More bowhunting and rifle hunting this November than pheasant hunting probably.
 

whacko

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Yeah.....tread lightly when it comes to buying a dog. If you only hunt a bit, its not worth it. Plus if you only hunt MA state birds 6 birds is
not worth it. My dog is a pet, but she's a very high strung pet that needs significant exercise, that many people would never want to put in the time.
This will be my last dog. I will either pay to hunt when this one goes, and I have friends that will always have dogs, that will let me use them anytime.

Like anything you don't do enough, if you only hunt a few times your better off renting. It ends up being cheaper. A dog comes with time investment, vet investment, food investment. Anything it chews investment, anything it ruins by crapping on investment. Add it all up.....just like a fishing trip, its cheaper to pay once or twice, then own the whole boat. As I age, its how I look at a lot of things now......if Im not using it a lot, I'm renting it. I don't want it hanging around, and I don't want to store, maintain or deal with it.

As far as how the season's going......Weird year. I'm limited out on state birds already. Had a week off because I had extra vacation time. Every place I hit last week was well stocked. Add to that I was shooting poorly with a new double and was taking extra shots because of a few misses. Had some wild flushes as well, and a lot of the birds did not get up well until they were well past shooting range. I had at least 6 birds skim the ground 2-3 feet then finally get up high enough about 100 feet out. It basically saved their lives, because I won't shoot a low bird,even if nothing is behind it.

Ending up trading the double today a KTP for 50 dollars less than I paid for it. Guess it was a rental.....LOL.

I'll still hit addieville and the preserve club on Saturdays. More bowhunting and rifle hunting this November than pheasant hunting probably.
I never said anything about getting a BIRD dog. I said I'm considering getting a pair of beagles when I retire. I say when I retire because my plan is to be done working when I'm 58. I on track for that and would have the time to train them. I enjoy rabbit hunting most out of all the hunting I do. Hunting over beagles with a guide is the only hunting I pay a guide for and its amazing and I would love to be retired and have a pair of my own beagles. . Your talking bird dogs where yes......you have a short season and rely on stocked birds. I said absolutely nothing about shooting planted welfare system birds with a dog. Rabbits are wild and can be hunted in mass from mid Oct to end of February. In nh from 1 oct to end of January. That's 5 months between those states. If I want to take a drive hare can be hunted in Maine Oct thru March.....6 whole months. There is no "season limit" on wild rabbits or hare. I've actually thought this through. Your talking bird dogs and I'm talking rabbit dogs......two completely different things.

Upland hunting isn't just planted birds with pointers. I hunt MA and NH now.....and have not targeted pheasant in a few years because I think its just a circus and all your trying to do is guess the stocking schedule. Hunting rabbit is a hoot and I've had just a taste of success without beagles......I'm dead set that it could be awesome to have my own someday.
 
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Mark from MA

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I never said anything about getting a BIRD dog. I said I'm considering getting a pair of beagles when I retire. I say when I retire because my plan is to be done working when I'm 58. I on track for that and would have the time to train them. I enjoy rabbit hunting most out of all the hunting I do. Hunting over beagles with a guide is the only hunting I pay a guide for and its amazing and I would love to be retired and have a pair of my own beagles. . Your talking bird dogs where yes......you have a short season and rely on stocked birds. I said absolutely nothing about shooting planted welfare system birds with a dog. Rabbits are wild and can be hunted in mass from mid Oct to end of February. In nh from 1 oct to end of January. That's 5 months between those states. If I want to take a drive hare can be hunted in Maine Oct thru March.....6 whole months. There is no "season limit" on wild rabbits or hare. I've actually thought this through. Your talking bird dogs and I'm talking rabbit dogs......two completely different things.

Upland hunting isn't just planted birds with pointers. I hunt MA and NH now.....and have not targeted pheasant in a few years because I think its just a circus and all your trying to do is guess the stocking schedule. Hunting rabbit is a hoot and I've had just a taste of success without beagles......I'm dead set that it could be awesome to have my own someday.

I hunt pheasants, rabbits, squirrels, native grouse, chuckar partridge and woodcock. Not all of them are planted birds, or even birds. I hunt from Oct 1 to April 15th, I don't guess stocking schedules during state land hunts, I just go hunt, usually mid day, mid week when no one is there. After Feb, its mostly planted Pheasant and Chuckar on preserve, but that is not my favorite hunting. I like walking out into my huge local WMA and see what runs out, or flys up. I really don't like hunting freshly stocked birds, it sucks for the dog, and the birds don't hold as well either, and its not natural for the dog to trail them.

I've killed 2 rabbits this year and two squirrels that were treed, with my "BIRD DOG" so you don't need beagles for a rabbit hunt anymore than you need a pointer for a pheasant hunt. Ive known many guys with beagles that hunt birds exclusively. Though less common now, I used to see it all the time. Beagles are a good all around dog, as is my GSP.

I do agree there are specialized dogs for specialized hunting, but just because i have BIRD DOG, I don't just hunt planted pheasants.

In fact back in the day, before I started deer hunting....my favorite hunts were to head up with the dog to Northern NH and hunt wild grouse and woodcock.
 
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whacko

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I hunt pheasants, rabbits, squirrels, native grouse, chuckar partridge and woodcock. Not all of them are planted birds, or even birds. I hunt from Oct 1 to April 15th, I don't guess stocking schedules during state land hunts, I just go hunt, usually mid day, mid week when no one is there. After Feb, its mostly planted Pheasant and Chuckar on preserve, but that is not my favorite hunting. I like walking out into my huge local WMA and see what runs out, or flys up. I really don't like hunting freshly stocked birds, it sucks for the dog, and the birds don't hold as well either, and its not natural for the dog to trail them.

I've killed 2 rabbits this year and two squirrels that were treed, with my "BIRD DOG" so you don't need beagles for a rabbit hunt anymore than you need a pointer for a pheasant hunt. Ive known many guys with beagles that hunt birds exclusively. Though less common now, I used to see it all the time. Beagles are a good all around dog, as is my GSP.

I do agree there are specialized dogs for specialized hunting, but just because i have BIRD DOG, I don't just hunt planted pheasants.

In fact back in the day, before I started deer hunting....my favorite hunts were to head up with the dog to Northern NH and hunt wild grouse and woodcock.
Mark
I was replying to this quote from your post

"If you only hunt a bit, its not worth it. Plus if you only hunt MA state birds 6 birds is
not worth it"

I'm glad you hunt wild birds and rabbit. Your reply to me was "moving the bar" so to speak.

I know plenty of guys that own "bird dogs" that hunt mass pheasant and preserves only. That's not my thing. I've been bit by the beagle bug from going out in Maine with the guide I use. Its a totally different experience than hunting with pointers. I've done both (with other folks dogs) and im dead set that beagles are way better for how I like to hunt and I'd get more time afield with beagles and not have to pay for preserve "hunts" to get out there.
 

djbradles

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Just want to be clear you guys don’t think that’s the arrow still sticking through the rooster’s neck 🤣. He’s got his head just propped on a nocked arrow for the picture. The shot placement was just about 5 inches lower. I’m pretty sure I hit his carotid artery since he bled out fast. These birds are like mutton sticks in the woods. Not much work hence the bow attempt. I found that the stalking was pretty efficacious since the leaves are already down and it’s easy to spot them. It was DCR land in Holden.
 

white feather

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I never said anything about getting a BIRD dog. I said I'm considering getting a pair of beagles when I retire. I say when I retire because my plan is to be done working when I'm 58. I on track for that and would have the time to train them. I enjoy rabbit hunting most out of all the hunting I do. Hunting over beagles with a guide is the only hunting I pay a guide for and its amazing and I would love to be retired and have a pair of my own beagles. . Your talking bird dogs where yes......you have a short season and rely on stocked birds. I said absolutely nothing about shooting planted welfare system birds with a dog. Rabbits are wild and can be hunted in mass from mid Oct to end of February. In nh from 1 oct to end of January. That's 5 months between those states. If I want to take a drive hare can be hunted in Maine Oct thru March.....6 whole months. There is no "season limit" on wild rabbits or hare. I've actually thought this through. Your talking bird dogs and I'm talking rabbit dogs......two completely different things.

Upland hunting isn't just planted birds with pointers. I hunt MA and NH now.....and have not targeted pheasant in a few years because I think its just a circus and all your trying to do is guess the stocking schedule. Hunting rabbit is a hoot and I've had just a taste of success without beagles......I'm dead set that it could be awesome to have my own someday.
You always seem so happy...
 

Mesatchornug

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Congratulations on your foray into the wild world of hunting!
Thanks! I brought home a couple pheasants last year from the stocking program at Harvard; I kind of immediately shared @whacko's point about it being barely more than the supermarket. Of course, that won't stop me from taking advantage of the program, but this success felt much more meaningful, though that might also be because I was out alone.
 

Mark from MA

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Mark
I was replying to this quote from your post

"If you only hunt a bit, its not worth it. Plus if you only hunt MA state birds 6 birds is
not worth it"

I'm glad you hunt wild birds and rabbit. Your reply to me was "moving the bar" so to speak.

I know plenty of guys that own "bird dogs" that hunt mass pheasant and preserves only. That's not my thing. I've been bit by the beagle bug from going out in Maine with the guide I use. Its a totally different experience than hunting with pointers. I've done both (with other folks dogs) and im dead set that beagles are way better for how I like to hunt and I'd get more time afield with beagles and not have to pay for preserve "hunts" to get out there.

I know plenty of guys like that too. Stocked birds for me is more of a comraderie thing, I go with a bunch of guys, we watch the dogs work, shoot the shit, miss alot because we are fxcking off...but have a good time. WMA hunting alone is a bit better, but if the birds are freshly stocked its actually annoying, because you'll shoot two in 30 minutes or less, which barely gives the dog a run. I like the watching the dogs work more than anything, and they enjoy it....they live for it actually.

I don't mind paying for hunting a few times a year when my son is off school. ....its really no big deal, but its certainly not hunting in the sense of the word. I used to spend the same or more money going to NH to shoot grouse and woodcock, but when I had kids and started bowhunting that went out the window, and I get a deal at my preserve that most don't so I do that instead now. I did think of going back up there again, but when my son gets out of college and gets some time off, I probably will again. Until he has more time we will just do the preserve.

Ive got some bowhunting to do in the next few weeks to focus on.......rut will start heating up soon.
 
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Mark from MA

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Just want to be clear you guys don’t think that’s the arrow still sticking through the rooster’s neck 🤣. He’s got his head just propped on a nocked arrow for the picture. The shot placement was just about 5 inches lower. I’m pretty sure I hit his carotid artery since he bled out fast. These birds are like mutton sticks in the woods. Not much work hence the bow attempt. I found that the stalking was pretty efficacious since the leaves are already down and it’s easy to spot them. It was DCR land in Holden.

I've missed plenty of EASY shots on real dumb neighborhood turkeys down in CT with the bow.....I don't care where you hit it, its a good shot and impressive to me as your a new archer.
 

djbradles

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I've missed plenty of EASY shots on real dumb neighborhood turkeys down in CT with the bow.....I don't care where you hit it, its a good shot and impressive to me as your a new archer.
Thanks Mark. Appreciate that as I’ve put in some hard work these last couple years. We’ll see how my hunt for a buck goes tomorrow and throughout the rut. Looking for a few more days off during the week in November.
 

whacko

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Thanks! I brought home a couple pheasants last year from the stocking program at Harvard; I kind of immediately shared @whacko's point about it being barely more than the supermarket. Of course, that won't stop me from taking advantage of the program, but this success felt much more meaningful, though that might also be because I was out alone.
When I head into wma woods that abuts stocked pheasant fields I'm targeting grey squirrel. If a pheasant happens to wander into my AO I consider that a target of opportunity. But I don't target pheasant specifically anymore.
 

whacko

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Thanks! I brought home a couple pheasants last year from the stocking program at Harvard; I kind of immediately shared @whacko's point about it being barely more than the supermarket. Of course, that won't stop me from taking advantage of the program, but this success felt much more meaningful, though that might also be because I was out alone.
Hey how did the field dressing go? Was the hyde tougher than you thought it would be?
 

Mesatchornug

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Hey how did the field dressing go? Was the hyde tougher than you thought it would be?
[rofl2]
In a word? Yes.

I tried the tail cut method. Turns out, I didn't give enough of a flap beyond the tail...that left me with something of a "pants and shirt" approach. Like you said, I found a pair of pellets right under the hide on the far side. Generally, I'm still getting accustomed to the effort required - I have a habit of trying to be overly gentle when starting new things; a friend called it "big man's disease." I'm sure the next one will go smoother.
 

whacko

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[rofl2]
In a word? Yes.

I tried the tail cut method. Turns out, I didn't give enough of a flap beyond the tail...that left me with something of a "pants and shirt" approach. Like you said, I found a pair of pellets right under the hide on the far side. Generally, I'm still getting accustomed to the effort required - I have a habit of trying to be overly gentle when starting new things; a friend called it "big man's disease." I'm sure the next one will go smoother.
Yeah when ai started squirrel hunting many years ago the first couple were hard.....same thing....I was being too careful. Now I just grip the head tight and pull the skin down.....can't be gentle. Its amazing how tough those little critters actually are. Rabbits are the opposite......I don't even need a knife to get the skin off a rabbit or snow shoe hare. Just grip the skin on the back and start tearing the skin comes off easy as hell.
 

Mesatchornug

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Now I just grip the head tight and pull the skin down.
Is that when you're clearing the legs, or do you use a different method that starts at the neck? (I feel like this might be a stupid question, but better to ask, right?)

I love rabbit. Never had the chance to prepare one yet. Of course, I only see them in the city anymore, and I'm told we don't want to eat those ones. We'll put that in the "someday" list.
 

whacko

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Is that when you're clearing the legs, or do you use a different method that starts at the neck? (I feel like this might be a stupid question, but better to ask, right?)

I love rabbit. Never had the chance to prepare one yet. Of course, I only see them in the city anymore, and I'm told we don't want to eat those ones. We'll put that in the "someday" list.
Yes grab the dead to clear the legs then grip the legs to clear the head. To get the front legs clear you sometimes have to push the "elbows" through with your fingers then pull them through.
 
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