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First time pheasant hunting

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hunter orange hat your shotgun preferably some kind of vest with shell/ bird holding pockets and good boots maybe rubber boots depending on if its rained recently.

i just wear jeans and a sweatshirt but the sticky briar type plants can be really uncomforable if they getcha i tried going in just a long sleeve shirt last weekend i ended up with about 3000 of the things on me coating my shirt they scratched the crap out of me and it sucked im never going without a change of shirt for the car.

if its warm out it can get hot i allways bring a couple of water bottles and stuff them in my vest even though i dont go out in the wilderness or anything and its crowded i still bring a lighter and knife just incase.

i allmost got a heart attack the first pheasnt i jumped it came out of literaly nowhere and i had looked and didint see anything there before walking up to the brush in the area they are definitly well camoflauged .
 

pupchow

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..i allmost got a heart attack the first pheasnt i jumped it came out of literaly nowhere and i had looked and didint see anything there before walking up to the brush in the area they are definitly well camoflauged .

And along those lines, I'd like to add, don't take a shot at a bird too close in you'll likely spoil the meat. ;) Sometimes those birds sit very tight. And sometimes they run. But let them run if they do.

In time you'll find what types of cover the birds favor during a certain time of the day and in different weather/wind conditions, and learn the most productive way to cover terrain.
 

Chrisg67

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bigjim got it good.

i wear jeans/hoodie with an orange vest with pockets for birds and shells. my brother in law wears upland pants that have built in chaps to protect from prickers (not a bad idea with some of the brush we walk through)
 

Serapis

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Where are you going Maggotlyfe?

I'm heading to Miles Standish. Never been down there before. I know they stock it. Any tips for that place?
 

boilermaker

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You didn't specify if you are hunting over a dog or not. If you are, understand if the dog is a pointer or flusher, and if it is a flusher don't let it get too far in front of you. Make sure the bird is in the air before pulling the trigger. The birds might just run and if so, let them run and go track them down. With a dog around you don't want to shoot the dog. I took a shot at a what I initially thought was a rabbit, which turned out to be a bird. The dog owner was not exactly happy with me about and in fairness I should have know better.

Otherwise, people mentioned the hat and vest/bird pouch. If you have a good time and want to go out again, I would immediately get some brush pants as they make the time in the woods much more enjoyable.

Finally make sure you have your hunting permit with you, game wardens have been out and will want you to produce it.

Good luck and post pics of how you do.
 

deadhead133

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Miles Standish is very crowded. A lot of areas to hunt in the pheasant area, but they have all been hit twice by 7:00AM. Same people go to the same areas all the time. Lot of good guys, but a lot of jerks also. Woods are full of ticks, so check yourself well when you are through. I went out today after work to change sd card in one of my trail cameras and found four on me.
 
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I wear these pants and a vest similar to this (they've changed the design over the years) over an old jacket. To "top" it all off, I got a blaze orange remington hat. Don't forget your hunting/sporting license, FID/LTC, shotgun, shells (size 6 or 7 1/2 shot is sufficient), and the 10 Commandments to gun safety in the woods as they teach you in Hunter Ed.

The ticks are pretty bad down on Myles Standish. I only go down there once or twice a season for quail, usually after there have been a few frosts to knock the ticks down.

I've been going on bird hunts since I was 5. I've been shooting birds since I was 12 (under my Dad's supervision and license, of course, until I got my own FID and hunting license at 15). I'm am more than confident in my abilities. I know where the dog is, where everyone else in my group is, and any one else in the area that can be seen/heard. It is not that hard to glance around you every few seconds to check where everyone is. I notice a lot of noobs to bird hunting just focus on the dog expecting a bird to get up at any moment. Pheasants don't fly that fast. If you stay with the dog, you should have more than enough time to shoot the bird.

I highly discourage shooting birds on the ground since this is your first time. I wouldn't consider it until you get some bird hunting experience under your belt and get a feel for what things are like. A lot of people choose not to for ethical reasons and also the risk of shooting the dog. If you're going to hunt over a flushing dog, definitely don't shoot the bird. Let the dog work. He/she should get it eventually. If you're hunting over a pointer, it depends on the dog. Some dogs are crappy pointers (as a result of crappy training or just their genetics) and break off the point and chase the bird down when they see that bird running for the next town. Other dogs will hold on point, in which case you'll never get that bird, unless of course you shoot it on the ground. Either that or chase it down yourself, which is something that I have actually done on several occasions.

Don't get tunnel vision on the dog. Be CONSTANTLY aware of your surroundings. Bird hunting can be a very fast-paced outdoor activity. You're almost always moving. The dog is almost always moving. Other hunters are almost always moving. That's what type of hunting this is. Don't let a Dick Cheney type incident happen to you. Oh, and don't look like a gung-ho moron walking around in the low-ready, it is one of my peeves about hunters. It has a place in the military and law enforcement, not in the woods hunting. Keep that muzzle pointed up. Practice shouldering that gun as fast as you can.

Hunt safely and let us know how it goes. Good luck.

PS: In the event that the dog catches a bird or you end up having to catch a bird yourself, you could let it go again and see if it will fly and give you a shot. I don't do that (a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush...), but you got some do-good ethical hunters that prefer that method. What I do is either wring its neck (while pulling on it to separate the vertebrae) or you could grab the body of the bird with both hands and whack its head against a tree or rock. This is also what to do if the bird isn't dead after you shoot it. Just thought you might want to know. A lot of noobs have no idea what to do in such situations...
 
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pj150

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You can just hold it's head and swing the bird around in a small circular motion. Breaks the neck easily in one swift action without causing a big scene.
 

pupchow

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You can just hold it's head and swing the bird around in a small circular motion. Breaks the neck easily in one swift action without causing a big scene.

+1 And good to note.

re: pants
I've been wearing Columbia Briarshun pants. Definitely better than denim! Picked them up @ Dick's, discounted 50%.

re: ticks
My dogs pick up a TON of ticks -- their fur is teaming with them by the time we make it back to the truck. The pups have been treated & immunized, but I would like it if the ticks didn't prefer to hitch a ride. I wear long sleeves at all times, and use DEET, and still have to pull one or two off now and then. I've already gotten LD once, ignoring what seemed like a small scab from a mosquito bite. Now I'm paranoid about it.
 
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You can just hold it's head and swing the bird around in a small circular motion. Breaks the neck easily in one swift action without causing a big scene.

That's how to do it if you don't want to put the gun down, which you may not want to do hunting over a flushing dog. I've also done it this way, back when I hunted primarily over flushing dogs, and realized 20 min later by them kicking around in the pouch in my vest that they're still alive. Sometimes they need more persuasion.. [wink]
 
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re: ticks
My dogs pick up a TON of ticks -- their fur is teaming with them by the time we make it back to the truck. The pups have been treated & immunized, but I would like it if the ticks didn't prefer to hitch a ride. I wear long sleeves at all times, and use DEET, and still have to pull one or two off now and then. I've already gotten LD once, ignoring what seemed like a small scab from a mosquito bite. Now I'm paranoid about it.
Wht are you using on the dogs for ticks?
 
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I believe we are going to pepperell. We at not shooting over a dog. Just going to go out and try to kick them up ourselves.
I actually have upland pants for walking my dog (boxer). He is very dumb and gets stuck in thorns.
Thank you all for the advice on how to break the neck, I was always wondering what to do if it is still alive after you shoot it.
Now with birds do you dress or bleed them in the field?
 
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We at not shooting over a dog. Just going to go out and try to kick them up ourselves.

Good luck with that. Don't get your hopes up. Finding a bird oftentimes is tough enough with a dog.

Thank you all for the advice on how to break the neck, I was always wondering what to do if it is still alive after you shoot it.

See, what'd I tell ya... [wink]


Now with birds do you dress or bleed them in the field?

I don't. That usually gets done at home. Some people, usually oldtimers, bring a knife along and field dress them near their car. Do you have any idea how to field dress them?
 
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If you can make friends with a bunch of hunters, you can also block and walk each field. Basically you have blockers at one end that are stationary, flankers moving down the sides to prevent squirt out, and walkers slowly pushing the birds towards the blockers. As these fields are stocked with raised pheasants which were confined to a netted area, they are more prone to run than fly. I've literally had to kick a bird in the rear to pop him up in Monson. Shooting runners and squatters is a 100% no-no in my book. Between the risk of ricochet, dropping the dog, and dishonor of constructively shooting a park bench, it just isn't worth the meat. The sound and ordeal of busting a pheasant is unforgettable, and the rush of folding them in flight is amazing.
 
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I find the most humane way to dispatch a bird is to gie a good squeeze with thumb and index finger in the area up tight to the wing joints along the back (think of the area as the "arm pits") this will humanely kill the bird quickly and quietly and with no one around even aware you did it. I never had much luck breaking necks and it looks pretty bad to watch.
As to cleaning, do it at home where you can dispose of the remains properly. I hate coming into an area with my dog and finding wings feathers and guts everywhere. It looks like hell and can cause problems for dogs if they decide to munch on the remains.
 

pupchow

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Wht are you using on the dogs for ticks?

They get vaccinated and Frontline.

---------------------------

re: shotgun loads

My 20 guage carries Remington Express Long Range, 1 oz. of #4 lead. Tends to buck the wind well, and pellets usually pass through - safer for most dental work.

-------------------------

re: dressing

I simply skin the bird at home. I've tried various methods, but skinning them is the quickest and preserves the most amount of meat.
 
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I don't have a vest with a holding area for pheasants so I just use a backpack with plastic shopping bags to put them in. Just starting out myself too. Havn't had any luck. First time I got in there about 5 minutes after 2 groups pushed the fields and killed everything. Second time was in the afternoon and I think the morning crews got them all again.

But its still fun walking around with the dog. I wont let getting skunked twice get me down, I'll keep trying until the last day of the season.

Any thoughts on trying to beat in the big crews of guys early in the morning? Would that piss any of you off? Its usually just me and the dog.
 

dixidawg

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They didn't get them all. There are still some left in those fields. I usually wait until the first waves of orange go through the field. Then my dogs and I have the place to ourselves. There are almost always birds they missed.
 

boilermaker

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As we work the fields, if the dog isn't getting excited over anything we figure it has been awhile since the stocking truck as come through. As result we often leave the fields and usually go into the thicker stuff, whether it be woods or more swampy. There always seem to be birds left in the deeper cover, you just have work harder to get them.

Good luck, don't get discouraged as the dog can pick up on it, at least it seems to me, and keep getting out there. gf293313, where are you located?
 
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boilermaker, I've been going to the Herman Covey wildlife managment area in Belchertown. Real big space, lots of land.
 
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This will be only my third time, and heading to Westen MA with my Brother a NES member. Great post super motivating as I leave for the trip as soon as my relief comes in from work. Trying a new breed of bird dog used to take down people with birds on there shoulder (unrully piarates??). A Belgian Malinious. We walked the area last year with and with out a dog what a diferance. He is super trained but out of his element unless we see and unrully piarate. Thanks for the post.
 
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What? No Derek? (-;

Derek, do you have a bird dog?

Anyone going out in Central Mass area like from Sterling over to Hubbardston to Oakham to the Brookfields down to Charlton and Oxford areas?
 

boilermaker

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I go out in the Brookfields - East Brookfield Flats, Richardson, and the Winimusset in New Braintree. My friend is the one with the dog.

Never tried Bennett over in Charlton, although a friend of mine hunts there often.
 
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