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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 1/10/2002 7:15:58 PM EDT
My firend, his father, and I are going pheasant hunting on Saturday, and it is my first time hunting. The vasy majority of my firearms experience is with rifles. My only shotgun, which I will not be using, is Mossberg 590. I will most likely be using an O/U 12ga, or a Browning 20ga pump. I have handled O/U's before and understand the gun's function. I would like some advice as to somethings I should know before I head out. My friend and his father will be guiding me, but I think it would be foolish not to tap the deep well of knowledge here.
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 7:31:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2002 7:31:57 PM EDT by xanadu]
Here's the only advice I can offer concerning pheasant hunting. (if you aren't hunting with dogs) Listen.... carefully... A pheasant will not fly until it absolutly has to. It will run like a mofo though, until it has run out of room or into another hunter. You can hear it run and will need to be ready to shoot where the sound is heading towards. Take a good leak before you get into the field, because every time one busts out in flight, it's gonna scare the pi** out of you. Have fun!
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 7:35:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2002 7:38:21 PM EDT by The_Bricklayer]
If you have a choice between two or three guns try to get the one that is lighter, if your not used to carrying a gun in the field for long periods of time this would be something to consider. Plus they are easier to swing onto a fast moving bird. Another thing, don't shoot as soon as they flush, let them get up in the air a little ways, you will be able to swing on them better. I would go with the o/u, that way you could have 2 different choke tubes, one for close shots and one for longer shots. Are these wild pheasants or released? Is this in CT or somewhere else? -brick
Link Posted: 1/11/2002 6:56:20 AM EDT
I used to go pheasant hunting in NJ. It was like being in Beirut! 25 guys walking line abreast through waist high grass. The guys on the end eventually started outpacing the guys in the middle. When a rooster flushed in the middle, lead flew everywhere. I was shot 2x while pheasant hunting. If it's just the 3 of you , great! Good advice in prior posts. This type of hunting involves a [b]lot[/b] of walking. Dress correctly, use the lightest shotgun you've got. Let the bird get some distance before you shoot. Had a friend take a bird just as if flushed. His shot at 15' obliterated the poor hen. Killed, cleaned and cooked before it hit the ground! Good luck. Have fun.
Link Posted: 1/11/2002 7:00:09 AM EDT
I agree with Brick layer. Don't shoot the bird when they first flush, let them get up some flying speed, then they will be easier to hit.
Link Posted: 1/11/2002 7:03:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By slt223: The vasy majority of my firearms experience is with rifles.
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You might want to hit the skeet fields before going afield. Shooting moving targets with a shotgun is a lot different than shooting stationary targets with a rifle.
Link Posted: 1/11/2002 7:12:06 AM EDT
Lead the bird with the muzzle.
Link Posted: 1/11/2002 7:51:08 AM EDT
What ECS said. Fortunately, pheasants tend to rise up relatively slowly, then accelerate horizontally, giving you time to get on them. But if the shot has any angle to it you are going to need a bit of lead (and I am not talking about the stuff shot is made of). A round of skeet will at least familiarize you with the concept. Good luck!
Link Posted: 1/11/2002 8:38:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ECS:
Originally Posted By slt223: The vasy majority of my firearms experience is with rifles.
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You might want to hit the skeet fields before going afield. Shooting moving targets with a shotgun is a lot different than shooting stationary targets with a rifle.
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This is the first thing that came to my mind when I was invited. However, there is no time for that between now and 12:00PM tomorrow. I'm gonna have to learn on my feet, and do it fast. Bricklayer: I'm not sure exactly where we are going. It's either somewhere around northern Fairfiled County, or Westchester County. I beleive we will be shooting released pheasant.
Link Posted: 1/11/2002 8:43:23 AM EDT
All of the preceding posts are great, a few I could add: Watch your muzzle!! Let a bird jump, ID rooster vs. hen, then shoot. Lead the bird w/ the muzzle, continue leading through trigger pull. I assume that you are hunting for roosters. -Hens will get up w/out a 'cackle'. -Hens have short tails in flight. -Hens are a drab brownish grey in color. On the other hand, -Roosters get up with a great amount of noise, wings beating, and 'cackles'. -Roosters have long tails in flight. -Roosters have an orange brown color on their bodies, white ring around neck, red combs, iridescent green and black on head... very colorful.
Link Posted: 1/11/2002 8:46:57 AM EDT
No one has mentioned to be careful to not shoot the dogs! This is a major fashion faux pas, and it can happen if you don't watch out for them. I was hunting with another dog handler about 8 years ago who accidently shot his own dog. I don't hunt with him anymore.
Link Posted: 1/11/2002 8:54:57 AM EDT
Watch where they land. Phesants are funny. I have had them look like they were dead and go down like a rock only to run away when they hit the ground. At the club I used to belong to the rule was they had to be 10 feet in the air before you coud shoot them. This kept everone from shooting each other and the dogs. There was no shooting at criples on the ground. I started out with 20ga O/U and went to a 12ga semi-auto. Some people like smaller guns so they don't ruin the meat. One guy in the group used to use a 28ga.
Link Posted: 1/11/2002 9:34:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By slt223:
Originally Posted By ECS:
Originally Posted By slt223: The vasy majority of my firearms experience is with rifles.
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You might want to hit the skeet fields before going afield. Shooting moving targets with a shotgun is a lot different than shooting stationary targets with a rifle.
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This is the first thing that came to my mind when I was invited. However, there is no time for that between now and 12:00PM tomorrow. I'm gonna have to learn on my feet, and do it fast. Bricklayer: I'm not sure exactly where we are going. It's either somewhere around northern Fairfiled County, or Westchester County. I beleive we will be shooting released pheasant.
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Keep swinging the gun, even while you are pulling the trigger, and even after that. Its easy to stop your muzzle until you get the hang of it, and keep your cheek on the gun. Pen raised birds will be easier to shoot and easier to kill than wild pheasant. Have fun and let us know how you do.
Link Posted: 1/11/2002 9:41:57 AM EDT
Sporting clays throwers chuck birds far faster than they fly in real life. If you try clays, it is different than pheasant. Pheasants are like basketballs that are thrown out of the brush. They are big and slow. Just put the bead on the bird and pull the trigger. Don't try to aim too much. Use the 20ga. My fathers Browning BPS 20 with a 28" barrel is the best pheasant gun in the world.
Link Posted: 1/11/2002 11:32:54 AM EDT
Like the man said pheasants are big & slow, so, if they get up right in front of you put the bead at the end of the beak, shoot, & follow through. If the head drops in flight they are dead right there & you just have to mark where they fall & go over & pick 'em up. If the head stays up they may not be dead, oops, I mean "harvested," & you have to mark closely where they fall & you may wind up chasing them. Don't drop the shotgun off of your shoulder as soon as you shoot because you may have to bring it up again to finish a bird that is gliding away from you into some impenetrable brush. Keep following the bird with the bead, safely, of course. Wear lots of blaze orange & make sure everyone with you does, too. It seems like the easiest way to tell a rooster from a hen is to note the white ring, i.e., if they don't have one it's a hen. Don't shoot hens! That's our future stock. I assume you will be hunting on a game farm so they probably won't be flushing wild, so, you probably can get away without a full choke. Has any one mentioned shot sizes? Later in the season on wild pheasants I usually like 3" shells in # 2, if steel, & #4, if lead. You can probably use the lead 4's on private land. Probably even 2 3/4" shells will be OK too. In a lot of the upper midwest steel is getting to be almost madatory on public land. Make sure that your friend reads this thread, too, if he does not have much hunting experience. If you will be cleaning them yourself, it is real easy. Everybody cleans birds differently but here is my suggestion: Just feel down the front of the bird to the bottom of the breastbone & grab the skin with both thumbs & index fingers & pull, left & right simultaneously. The skin should separate easily. Then hold down the bottom back of the bird & pull up on the underside of the breastbone. That will open up the insides. Just reach up in to the body cavity & pull out the throat tube & keep pulling out the rest of the insides. Save the heart & gizzard. Take a small plastic bag & put them in there. You can make dressing with pheasant dinner. Make sure that the grit is cleaned out of the gizzard. A friend of mine can slit the gizzard down longitudinally till he gets to the hard tissue around the grit & then peel the meat away. Pretty slick, but very dificult to learn. It's easy to skin them right away, too. It is much harder to skin them later. Just take the skin off like you are taking a little jacket off the bird. Take the skin off the whole neck & both the legs & wings down to the first joint, at least. I usually take a small handheld garden pruning tool & snip off the excess skin & bone at that joint. If there is any fat, & I usually don't see any on pheasants, strip it off right away. I think that it give the birds an extra strong taste & I don't like it. I'm sure that I will get some disagreement here, but I put the bird in a plastic bag & then in my game vest. Don't put them in the game pouch right away without gutting them first. They sometimes get a real funky taste, especially in warm weather. Clean off your hands by wiping them on the grass or snow. It will save you cleaning off the stock & fore end later. If you wipe the blood on bluejeans it will stain. I sometimes save the tail feathers as kind of a trophy. If you are going to train a dog you might want to save the wings for them to retrieve. The two most important things: Be safe. Have fun.
Link Posted: 1/11/2002 11:45:03 AM EDT
keep your head down on the stock the whole time...follow through when you shoot (don't stop your swing when you pull the trigger) and most important in my opinion keep both eyes open. i used to never be able to hit crossing shots...one day i tried not aiming so much. i kept my head down and both eyes open and ignored the beads...i just focused on the clay bird. when i started doing this i was amazed how many more birds i was able to nail (not to mention how much easier it was). sltoh
Link Posted: 1/11/2002 1:53:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By hardcase: Has any one mentioned shot sizes? Later in the season on wild pheasants I usually like 3" shells in # 2, if steel, & #4, if lead. You can probably use the lead 4's on private land. Probably even 2 3/4" shells will be OK too. In a lot of the upper midwest steel is getting to be almost madatory on public land.
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I enjoy the grittiness of shot with my dinner so I use #6. [:E] I have even hunted with a .410 with #7 1/2 before and did fine. They are nice and light! [:)]
Link Posted: 1/11/2002 4:05:33 PM EDT
I am suprised nobody mentioned this. As long as it's not windy, watch the tops of the grass and brush. A pheasant will run if it can rather than fly, but when they run, often the only thing you will see is the brush wiggling along it's path as it runs. If your dog isn't on it, RUN! If your hunting partners don't see it (they are usually too busy daydreaming or gabbing) yell "there's one", point at it, and RUN! Cut it off, and once it figures out there is nowhere for it to run, it will burst out in flight, with you and your buddies all pointing your shotguns at each other. Actually, the guys I hunt with are very muzzle conscious. When a bird gets between us, we keep our muzzles pointing safely away from each other until the bird gets out in the clear, then whomever is closest gets the shot. But not everyone is as safe. BE CAREFUL. When a bird pops up, it's quite a rush and easy to lose track of what you are doing! I usually start out a hunt with new people with a short safety briefing, reminding of MUZZLE CONTROL, and TRIGGER CONTROL. HINT: Check and make sure nobody in your group is one of those yahoos that have to always leave the safety off. They are out there! Someone mentioned "don't shoot the dogs". My father in law had is neighbor's kid years ago shoot HIS dog, on HIS property, behind HIS barn. Doh!!!! Don't "ground swat" unless you are sure (like the bird is out in the open) and then make sure where the dogs are! Have fun and good luck!
Link Posted: 1/11/2002 10:44:49 PM EDT
Well, how did it go? Get any birds?
Link Posted: 1/12/2002 1:48:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2002 1:55:38 PM EDT by slt223]
[size=6]SUCCESS!!![/size=6] We headed out around noon. The dogs did a great job! We saw about seven birds. I took two roosters! The first bird I shot at I missed with both barrels, but quickly realized it was because is was seeing way too much of the rib. The last bird I shot was quite satisfying, as he was killed at about 30 yards out, 40ft off the ground. The one dissapointment of the day was an extremely easy shot that I spoiled by failing to click off the safety. The pheasant popped up right infront of me. I almost stepped on it. The dogs were pointing at another cock, which I was trying to get an angle on. Niether myslef, nor the dogs saw the one at my feet. I could have had that shot at a range of about 15ft when he flushed out of the brush. That was rather aggrivating. All said, it was probably the most fun I have ever had with a firearm. I could do this 24/7 and can't wait to go again. There is something quite thrilling about being in the woods and having to stay extremely alert and cognocente of your surroundings to achieve a goal. Tonight I will be feasting on pheasant pot pie!
Link Posted: 1/12/2002 5:38:11 PM EDT
Congrats man!!!
Originally Posted By slt223: I could do this 24/7
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Oh Yeah, Me too!!!
Tonight I will be feasting on pheasant pot pie!
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How did you like it? - bricklayer
Link Posted: 1/12/2002 6:49:55 PM EDT
Congrats [beer] Don't worry about forgetting the safety, people do that all the time. Better that than someone getting hurt.
Link Posted: 1/12/2002 8:00:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Torf: Sporting clays throwers chuck birds far faster than they fly in real life. If you try clays, it is different than pheasant. Pheasants are like basketballs that are thrown out of the brush. They are big and slow. Just put the bead on the bird and pull the trigger. Don't try to aim too much. Use the 20ga. My fathers Browning BPS 20 with a 28" barrel is the best pheasant gun in the world.
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Pheasants slow? The birds I hunt must be on steroids then. Pheasants around here are a long way from being slow!!!!!!
Link Posted: 1/13/2002 9:22:26 AM EDT
The best pheasant hunting on the planet is right here in good ol' SOUTH DAKOTA. They are sure NOT slow. Unless you are compareing them to say..... a teal. I have hunted the wily ringneck all my life and still miss my share of easy shots. But if it was easy, then it wouldn't be any fun I have to say though that shooting pen raised birds does not even compare with hunting wild ones.
Link Posted: 1/14/2002 5:44:00 AM EDT
They are pretty slow on the launch, expecially compared to smaller birds. Doves fly pretty fast, and take no time getting up to full speed. A pheasant when flushed, will jump up out of the brush going nearly straight up until it gets about 10 feet high, then it will start flying away. Unfortunately for the pheasant, it is fairly heavy, and has short wings. If I can count to 4 using the "one-thousand" method and still have the bird in range, I'd say that is pretty slow. Your birds may vary, but I was comparing them to sporting clays throwers. The one I shot with threw the bird at about 60 mph! The dang thing is out of range in a second!
Link Posted: 1/14/2002 5:56:18 AM EDT
Wow! If you prairie guys want to see some really fast shooting you should hunt ruffed grouse in the September woods. The first time that I took a prairie guy hunting ruffed grouse he saw one get up & said "What was that?" That was in December when there was no leaves & he's practically Daniel Boone as far as being a woodsman. Yes, pheasants flush wild after opening day, but it's nothin' compared to grouse.
Link Posted: 1/14/2002 7:01:51 AM EDT
Funny story, several years ago, while in the neighborhood gunshop in Ft. Worth, a kid comes in and tells the older guy working that day (a retired Airforce guy and pardon be , but a Yankee) he's going pheasent hunting in the Panhandel for the first time the next day. He needs some shells, and the counter guy ask what he's hunting with. The kid responds a pump 12. The counter guy advises 3-4 boxs of 3" mag #2s, because when those pheasents come over, "They're flying high and fast" :) I kind of pulled the kid aside when the counter guy got busy and suggested 2 boxes at most, of 2 3/4 XX #6s, which he chose. After he left, I ask the counter guy if he had hunted pheasent much, and he replied that they used to pass shoot them all the time in Michigan.
Link Posted: 1/14/2002 10:46:53 AM EDT
Ah yes, the Michigan Pheasant Duck, or Phuck for short. We try for those all the time when the weather gets cold!
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