Since Michael decided he wasn't going to post about bird hunting anymore due to me being a smartass I figured why not have a thread that focuses on wingshooting!! I love hunting with a shotgun nearly as much as I do with a bow, but had to tease a little on the summer prep thread as multiple threads turned into discussions about bird hunting. Now we have a place to focus entirely on talking about pheasants, quail, doves, ducks, geese, Prairie chickens, as well as bird dogs, shotguns, etc.
With the amazing return of the bobwhite quail I have been wanting to get a pointing dog again. My labs can and do occasionally point, but it isn't the same to me. I had Brittany's growing up, but have hunted with some awesome shorthairs over the years. If things go as planned I may have a new shorthair pup to play with soon. My wife is NOT happy about it, but I think she will get over it...hopefully:)
I checked and set several cameras yesterday morning in SC KS. Saw between 25-30 pheasants on one 3mi stretch of county road just NW of Anthony, majority were poult's. That's more birds than I've seen in that area for many many years...now I need another dog too...will Jerri let me keep mine at your house as well Matt?
Sure Kyle, what is one more right:) I loved britts as well Matt, but with all the grassy sandbur we have felt like it could be a nightmare at times. The sire from the litter I am looking at is a good pheasant dog and doesn't range as far as some do. If birds stay strong like it appears a pup should get plenty of practice in coming years.
I am partial to Brittany's but have owned Pointers, an English Setter, and a Shorthair. The Shorthair was probably the best Pheasant dog I have owned. Unfortunately, she died of a very rare bacterial infection at the age of seven. She did not range near as far as the Pointers and the Brittany I have now. My current Brittany has a lot of desire to hunt and to please me. If I was better at my end of the deal she could be a really great dog.
We always had Brittany's growing up, but I had a Chesapeake and an English Pointer at the same time...made for some interesting upland hunts! The chessie was great on waterfowl, toughest dogs there are IMO, and she'd actually point on occasion but mainly a "flusher". The English was a lemon & white and he died young, I think my neighbor poisoned him as he was a barker and a howler(@ sirens) but couldn't ever prove it.
I threw this video together the day after I found him dead in the back yard. There are two English pointers on the ground here...not great footage, more of a memorial to the dog.
Few things happier than a pointer with broad horizons and birds scattered about. You know, Kyle, if you'd have gotten that new pointer last year, worked a few times...think of where you'd be coming into this season?
Been lurking on here for a long, long time, finally decided to post. I'm a bird hunter at heart and spend quite a bit of time doing it. I do rifle (yes, I know) hunt for deer and would like to bow hunt, just haven't started down that road yet. The main reason for not picking up the bow is I'd rather be chasing birds in November than sitting in a tree. I have two young kids that I've been taking hunting with me for quite some time and even got my wife to go with me last year. My wife shot her first deer last year (nice buck) and 5 minutes later my daughter (12 years) shot her first deer (doe).
The bird population has bounced back pretty nicely after the drought. Do a lot of hunting in the SW part of the State and I didn't think it'd ever recover, but it was decent hunting out there last year and should be even better this year. I run shorthairs and so do the couple guys that I hunt with. Anyways, just wanted to come on and say hello to you guys. You've been cracking me up for years!
Welcome to the madness Bryan!! Good years I am hunting birds in November, tough years I hunt a lot more in December and January. It is a long season so even with bowhunting taking up a lot of time I always get planting of bird hunting in. Usually sneak a duck hunt or two in and then hunt geese pretty hard the last few weeks of season in February. Well, at least when I get invited by some of my hard core waterfowl friends.
I try not to wish time away as it goes so fast anyways, but I am ready for September to get things rolling!
Used to make it up there every year. Haven't been since 2009. My son is 10 and killed his first quail here last year. He just passed his hunter safety course last month. I got up this morning and it just hit me. Booked a room. We are headed for SW Kansas for the opener with my dad. Can't wait. Shorthairs all the way.....
Guys looking for dogs, don't let price be your guide, and looks can be deceiving.
Make sure the pedigree has plenty of field trial and/or hunt test background, on both sides, (like Jeff's) for a dog that's physically sound and mentally able to take the pressure of training.
It's worth the time and effort to get parents that have been cleared on hips, eyes, and elbows. EIC is a growing problem. I've known several to have it in their dogs, and they'd never even heard of it until the vet told them their dog would never hunt.
AND FOR GOD'S SAKE, TRAIN YOUR DOG TO STOP AND COME TO A WHISTLE!!!!!!! (I've had five friends lose Labs because they couldn't stop them around thin ice or traffic.)
(Jeff, two of Cade's three littermates passed MH and qualified for master national at 27 months. The other took a state title in dock dog, and had JH when it was killed at barely a year. Cade's cleared on hips, eyes, elbows, and EIC and handling well.)
Good thread buddy! I'm hoping to make it out your way again this winter. Got a few bigger things to kill first. You know pointing dogs work best when you're not running full speed right :) Thanks again for having us last season! My father still brags about it to his friends
Looking forward to trying out some upland hunting this year. But bowhunting the rut is still my passion and priority. I'm a total newbie. My wife has some interest and I have 2 young boys ages 6 and 9 ready to tag along and experience some outdoor fun. Should be fun learning together.
Most notable, we got a Greman shorthair last year and just finished up a couple months formal training for him with his breeder. Shout out to Kaj Larson and Hunt'em Up Kennels.
All that said can I hope to find some birds on WIHA land around an hour out from Wichita? I bow hunt Marion and have kicked up a few birds, but never really been looking either. Any tips for a begginner would be welcomed too.
Head west young man, for your best chances, though I've gotten some nice reports around Marion this summer. Most of the WIHA will get pounded opening weekend, but you'll probably be in a tree, anyway. Bad weather often pushes the birds off of pastures and into the thick grass of WIHA fields. Also, do some work on Google Earth to find walk-in areas that are near good food, and maybe off the beaten path. If we ever get snow again, in December or January, it's time to go. Have fun.
Just got done camping at Marion, seen lots of quail around the lake. No roosters though. Used to hunt the area back in college and would get into quite a few pheasants. There's pheasants there, but not like there was 15 years ago.
I am not Writer but, about any grain will be utilized as a food source by Pheasants. This will usually be milo, corn or soybeans. If there is food and cover there will probably be birds. As Writer said you need to head West or Northwest of Wichita.
Hard to beat milo stubble, but corn stubble's not bad, either. Wheat's not bad, especially if it didn't get sprayed after harvest. Learn to ID native plants like ragweed, wild sunflower and smartweed (usually found in moist areas.) Pheasant and quail would rather eat the wild plants than domestic, especially quail . Plum thickets are always a plus. More pheasants in Marion County than many think. I know a group that shot 30 roosters last year on opening day. But not, it's not like it was 20-30 years ago. Habitat's changed. No matter, it could be a good year.
I was out talking to several farmers today driving the country side. Almost everyone said that their wheat was wiped out 100% by hail and they are seeing very few pheasants. Which is what I have been observing. I may have to venture elsewhere to find birds this year.
I've had two other people tell me they're seeing promising things in Barton and Rush counties. I've also heard Marion County is trashed from some and just talked to a friend who was with a group that shot 30 pheasants opening day last year, there.
I finally saw two groups of young Quail yesterday afternoon. The first group was on the edge of the road and could not have been more than a couple days old. They were tiny. A mile East and a couple miles North a group of half grown birds were on the side of the road. They picked up and flew when I slowed.
Michael Shh about Marion County. I have killed quite a few Pheasants there every year for the last 50 years.
I prefer females although the 2 best dogs I have owned were males. Go figure! Females generally tend to be a little cleaner, maybe a little softer but not always, and are smaller. Females come in heat twice a year, and in some cases just once (mine) while males are in heat every day.
Pretty much what Clip said. I also like males because they're generally more photogenic, and that's a biggy for me. Cade, was supposed to be Grace, but I couldn't pass up his litter and no females were available, which has been what it looked like it should be on paper. No doubt males can hunt harder, and handle elements better, but all hunts begin with five minutes of peeing on everything. Though, this male is the "hottest" retriever I've ever worked with, mine or otherwise, but also the easiest to handle of all, too,...blinds, whistle commands, patience on a sit, steadiness, and learns faster than any. Kind of like a male body, but a female brain. (I'll leave that open, for further comments or comparisons to some on Bowsite.) I could see myself with a sizable female, from a hot FT/Test line, from pointing stock, spayed, down the road, though.
For labs I am partial to a male simply for the blocky head more than anything. In my experience most will fetch all day. I think my males were easier to train than my females have been believe it or not. I don't go into the depth of training like you do though.
I am curious on GSP, Brittany, etc owners thoughts as well. I ran mostly male britts as well, but have hunted with several GSP and the females have destroyed the males I have hunted with for the most part. I am likely going to get a male because that is what is available anyways, but thought it would be interesting discussion.
Britt's females hands down. My current Male us as huge of Brittany as I have ever seen. Blocky clumbsy at times and tires in short time compared to the four females I have owned. One of the best Britt's I owned was awesome gundog but all of her other trates I hated.
If I was getting a pointing dog, it'd be a female wirehair, no doubt. So much depends on getting them into LOTS of birds the first season, at a young age. All my retrievers have had 200-plus wild birds before six months. When they're that young, you're God to them and their willingness to learn, please is never higher. The next year, they're teen-agers.
If I was looking for a pointing dog, I too would choose a wirehair. But there are really only 2 breeds of dogs for me, labs and springers. I am going to own a little black and white female springer one of these days from Pine Shadow in Minnesota. If I can ever muster up the $2500 for a puppy.
I don't know about you guys, but isn't it funny how a person, me anyways, characterize a breed based on a very small sampling. Really means nothing so I shouldn't have said it.....hope I didn't offend anyone.
No, just realized you live in a vacuum out there in western Kansas. :-) Last year a buddy started quail season with a four-month-old wirehair, and probably shot 200 quail over it. Gonna be a fine, fine dog. Matt, my Lab can covers plenty of ground, but that's a problem. I can stop him on a whistle if I can see him, but when I can't it's a bird out of range. It's probably pretty confusing for him when I want him casting 50 yards in every direction when we've had a dog or goose sail a long ways. He seems to know to slow down for quail, and really enjoys working up the singles. Dang, I'm so ready for hunting seasons...
I got a 9 month old pointing lab I am hoping to put on birds. THinking about doing some preserve hunts early. Quail numbers appear down in this area from the last 2 years. I have quail food plots planted and they are going great. Buddy has family that farms out around Dodge City that has been hounding me to head out for a weekend. May have to take him up on it.
Was that a 'Poly Choke' on the gun at the beginning of the first vid?Maybe a 'Cutts Compensator'?Either way,been awhile since I've seen either.Great stuff!Moving out of a cabin this weekend but will share some pics next week.Dogs n birds come very very close......
I'm anxious to get out and chase birds again this fall. Last year was SPECTACULAR in Smith county! We have weed buffers around all of our production fields and it has done wonders for the bird populations!
I got a new Vizsla pup 2 months ago and he made his first point this past week on a chukar I had in a cage.....having a ball with him.
New to the site, but I thought I would give this a try. I have a professional pointer who retired off of a quail plantation I. SC. He is the 3rd dog I have adopted from this guide. The past 2 were amazing quail dogs. My last one started to figure out pheasant by the end of her last season. I'm looking for folks to hunt with anywhere in a 2 or so hour radius of Wichita. I have a few places I have hunted with pretty good luck but looking to branch out some. Ill gladly share my spots with anyone willing to share theirs. Love pheasant hunting but won't turn this dog out on them until I see how he does with them. I'd hate to ruin someone's rooster hunt because my pup is a long runner.
If you're interested hit me up. I won't be hunting opening weekend as I already have a big pheasant trip planned. But other than that I am open.
Clip....talked to another guy out of Great Bend who says it's going to be another "banner" year for pheasants. He's done very well the past three years on pheasants. Last year he saw a lot of quail, but is too cheap to shoot at them with high-dollar pheasant loads. A farmer southeast to there said "fair" for pheasants, "unbelievable" for quail.
I keep quail loads in one pocket of my vest and pheasant in the other. I try to guess which birds will likely get up based on cover and dog behavior but if I have pheasant loads in on a covey rise, I just don't shoot and swap out to chase the singles. I've killed a LOT of pheasants with 1 1/4 ounces of 7 1/2's when I had them in expecting quail only to have a rooster bust out.
we have had the good fortune to hunt private crp grass for over 25 years. For the first few years we always used 6 shot phez loads hunting over some pretty good dogs. As the grass grew thicker, we started to lose more birds. About 20 years or so ago, I tried using 5 shot mags, while my buddies stay the course. If remember right, on one pass, 1/2 mile, I shot and recovered my limit, in grass thick as all get out, no cripples running away. The rest of the group also shot several birds, but lost 4 or 5. To lose just one bird is such a shame, one I still can't stand. Even with the best of dogs, if you hunt grass, and you don't fold them up hard, your going to lose birds. Anyway, we all been using mags for several years now, you still lose some, but our recovery percentage is excellent
Only 1 mention of Springers so will post a few.I love them for everything and mine hunt everything.I always have a lab that will do it all as well but a good Springer is hard to beat.(a friend and I hunt sharptails here,NoDak and Montana and I'll admit his Brittanys are much better at that but only reluctantly)
Should mention that my Springer dives and gets crippled waterfowl unlike any dog I've seen.The only drawback is their coats make them 'warm' water dogs only. Here we primarily field hunt waterfowl though so 2 years ago I decided 12s were overkill and all I shoot now are 20gauges.For 'loads' I shoot Fed Black Cloud 2s for geese,Hevi Metal 3s for ducks,and Fed 3 inch lead 6s for pheasants unless on public,then I shoot HeviShot 7.5s or Fed 3 inch steel 4s.
Hi.Yes mine have all been good house dogs and very friendly to people,even hair/ear pulling kids-except one.That one was friendly but no hair pulling w/out a growl.Never bit,but no hair pulling etc. My wife n I are the same,they all are house dogs.
The waterfowl work horses for me though are labs.For the last 9 years primarily this guy,Rascal.Hard worker,hard charger and few labs retrieve more unless owned by a guide/Outfitter.He averages over 200 honkers,200 mallards and perhaps 100 misc a year.Love him.
11/4 7.5 shot is all I have shot at pheasants for the last 20 or so years. With them in the gun I am ready for quail if that is what we find. I shot a 12 gauge with Improved Cylinder. I figure if they are far enough that I need a tighter choke I can't hit them anyway. I do have a few runners, but my last two dogs have made losing a cripple virtually a thing of the past. I hunt heavy grass 90% of the time. My dogs are not steady to the shot. I want them on the downed pheasant as fast as possible.
Dang, Leftee, you now own the record for consecutive posts. Too bad you got interrupted or you'd have set a record nobody can top...unless some professional photographer gets wired up...but he wouldn't do that to the other guys. :-)
Not my first rodeo and not too hard at 10-15 yards. leftee. It was a tiny pasture pond you could shoot across, at any angle, and fold the birds like a clean pair of socks. They were getting blown off a 300 acre lake about a mile away, and hitting the pond that was flooded smartweed, sunflowers and a few other natural plants I can't name. Most just came from the south, set their wings and landed there like they had every morning for the past week. We just stepped back between cedar trees to hide. And nothing makes that "reeeeeeeeee" noise that causes your dog, and you, to start fidgeting a bit, like a drake mallard.
Great goose Opener yesterday.Lotsa geese but never the same w/out your own dog.This AM was just my dog and I and while I shot fewer geese,I had a better time!Nothing like the first goose retrieve of the year for your dog. Off to Kansas tomorrow to hang some stands then off to New Mexico to arrow an elk!Life is good. Good hunting to all.
Hard for me to run the e-collar when it's hot as it was over the weekend. I don't want to restrict his air flow. But, the first teal hunt when we get back from California and he'll instantly quit creeping on sits, when birds are on the ground. Had one of our best-ever, last night. Killed 60, taking turns, in about an hour. Could have killed 200, I believe.
We are supposed to get down to 43 degree's tonite. I have a terrific dove spot, hope they don't head to Oklahoma. This was my first trip of the year, I did not go this weekend due to the temps. Never mind the ecollar, I won't hunt mine in the heat.
Good lookin' pups Lord! Thought I would try a new breed this year and have a 9 week old Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. Looks to be a good combo of upland and waterfowl skills. Anyone ever own or hunt with one? Would be great to get some feedback!
Been afield with some outstanding wirehairs. If I was getting a pointing breed, thats what it'd be, for sure. They're pretty pure. They're too ugly to be over-bred for the "cuteness" factor. A friend has one that's a decent waterfowl dog if the conditions are right. They're good at blood tracking, too. You should have a lot of fun.
Keep an eye on your dogs. I went out for a short evening hunt after taking Mom back to Ulysses after a doctor visit. Gunner had a great hunt but started acting up as soon as we got back to the truck. Not one Yelp or bark but he had been struck by a presumed rattle snake.
I few years ago I was hunting the early Prairie Chicken season when my English Pointer went on point (it was not a normal point) a couple hundred yards from me. As I tried to get within range he moved in a little and suddenly jumped backwards. I called him to me and sure enough he had fang marks on his face. He wanted to continue the hunt but I took him home and called the Vet. He said to give him an antihistamine to reduce the reaction to the bite, Ibuprofen for pain as needed and watch for excess swelling. He indicated that the chance of a local rattlesnake bite being fatal to a dog was very low.
I like the early Prairie Chicken season as it is an excuse to get the dogs out and get some much needed exercise for myself, but rattlesnakes are a concern. We have had a couple of run-ins with rattlesnakes since that time but no dogs or people were bitten.
My brother's Brittany did get bit by a presumed rattlesnake at his home about four years ago. She now has a special bark for snakes and lets him know when she finds a snake. She warned him of a rattlesnake within 100 yards of his house a couple of years ago.
Great thread. Dogs give me great comfort after I take care of cussing, yelling, sick patients all week. My dogs are always appreciative of the smallest things and taking them bird hunting is like heaven to them.
Amen, Jason. Amen. We've all heard the joke about know the difference between your dog and your wife? Lock them both in the trunk of a car for two hours and see which one is happy to see you when you let them out. Spent an hour last night, on a pond ten minutes from home to loading the gun. Just me, and the dog, and a great sunset. Shot five doves. Really needed that peacefulness and solitude.
I take Cade to the same pond to train at least four mornings a week. Every morning he acts like it's some new place he's only seen in his dreams.
It's been a lean dove year for me. Only shot 14 so far and 6 of them were flying over the yard in the evening or going to the lagoon. Fall River was a dud because the new land manager doesn't know what he's doing yet. Showed up opening morning to find only 1 sunflower field in the 10,000 acre WA and it was still green and looked to have been mowed only days before. Needless to say, the harvest was way down and a lot of people wasted their 1 bird hunting day this year. Missed opener of teal due to work. The dog doesn't care though. He's happy just to get out of the pen for 1 bird or ten. I'm hoping mid October cool fronts bring more in. I have fond memories of walking up doves like quail in late season in alfalfa, milo, and foxtail fields.
After a couple weeks bowhunting the old boy and I are back at it.About wore my old Cordoba out so picked up a new M2 20ga as a replacement.The M2s always came up nice for me so...Didn't fail me.Sweet shooter and settled on the factory mod choke and the old standby Black Cloud 2s. Man do we have the ducks this year.Swarms of malls n woodies into the goose decoys.Season opens in a week and hope their plummage colors out quickly,if not going to be hard to pick drakes.Way behind on that score. Good hunting!
I'm glad this came back up. Was out in Montana the first of September and birds took a beating in eastern MT and the western Dakotas from the drought. Last year I'd see 200 or 300 pheasants a day, this year one or two. And ZERO broods except close to the Yellowstone. Sharptails and Huns were hit hard too. So instead of going back to MT over Thanksgiving I'm thinking KS instead. I always hit KS in late December early January and hardly see anyone else hunting during the week. What's it going to be like in November? I see your rifle season starts the 29th. Should the dogs and me be home before gun season opens? Here in MI drunk rifle deer hunters shoot dogs on sight. I'd head back down around Garden City and hunt 75 miles or so from there to all compass points. Thanks
Matte, here's betting you and I have a helluva fun and productive season, as will many others. That includes my friend in Hoisington who found 47 different wild coveys last year, including many on WIHA. He averaged a couple of pheasants per quail hunt. My friend at Garden City said quail are even better than last year. Pheasants are spotty, but there are some good spots on his ground. We need to make it out together this year, Matt. We can hit some of my good spots and some of your good spots. :-)
West, I have seen more birds this year with good broods since 2010. Writer can attest to the texts all summer long as travel to Grant County on seeing birds and broods every few telephone poles. Talking with a good friend and Game Warden while dove Hunting. His response was anywhere you go out here you will be into plenty of birds. I imagine everybody in my group will shoot limits the first three or four times out. Everything is right from water to bugs to wild sunflowers that cover most of the once dry Sandhills of Western Kansas. I feel if you can't find the birds this year then move a few miles and get yer trigger finger ready. They are thick as the grasshoppers in most places that i have been.
We hunted December last year and saw more hunters than birds hunting WIHA. I didn't even raise my gun on the first day, and I went home. Didn't even stick around to hunt the 2 more days others did. We hunted the Hill City area and to say it was awful is giving it credit. We shot doves sunday before the front. Hunted a loaded corn field. I started 1 for 1 and then it went way downhill shooting wise. It was fun but my chocolate lab was so sore when we got home she did nothing all day sunday, and monday.
You're right, West. I only have contacts in 100 of 105 counties, and very close friends who farm and/or ranch more than 150,000 acres from Atchison to Elkhart, not including many biologists and game wardens I know on a first name basis. Nope, family only been here 150 years since last spring and covered the state professionally for 36 bird seasons. We're all wrong, You're always right and the sky is always falling. Hell, it's never good border to border and there are always spots. My best-ever year was 1983 when I shot 97 and retrieved 93. As per overall harvest, it was one of the worst in state history pre "turn of the century." My best per-hour average was during the drought when I cherry-picked my spots, and made short hunts to make the spots last through the season. I'll bet few, if any, on this site hunt as broad a swath of Kansas as I will this season...unless it's Matt. I promise you this, I'm going to have a great time, enjoy every minute and do what I can to help others instead of constantly running everything down. My life is great, and so is my state.
Glad to here the quail are doing well and maybe even better than last year. I'll pass on any pheasants the dogs find leaving them for you locals to have something to shoot at...........too keep the peace between a few of you'll who have something going on here in this thread.
Writer, I believe numbers to be down and so does the KDWP. Last year was a good year, this year the hatch was poor. Not for sure what your problem is but have a good year. Sorry I got your blood pressure up and thanks for the history lesson.
LMAO I would have went for a drive tonite but the roads are impassable. Actually just did not want to go there! And I am practicing "self restraint". However I do like to entertain Frank! Just did not think Writer would go full blown "NFL" on me.
Actually, I think the KDWPT is disagreeing with you West.
Pheasant hunting in Kansas should be fair to good this year. Excellent conditions in 2016 – combined with high overwinter survival – led to another increase in the pheasant crow survey this year and returned the index to the pre-drought average. This included stable or increasing crow surveys across all four regions in the primary pheasant range. Heavy spring precipitation created excellent habitat for the 2017 nesting season. However, the late snowstorm in western Kansas impacted nest success on initial attempts in a large area. Cool and wet spring weather caused wheat harvest to be delayed and progress slowly, which typically benefits pheasant production. Given good conditions for re-nesting, early losses were overcome, resulting in statewide roadside counts similar to 2016. Given this information, we expect hunters to see similar numbers of birds. While the 2016 pheasant harvest was low, the average daily bag was above average, which suggests an above-average harvest could have occurred if there had been greater hunter participation. Kansas continues to maintain one of the best pheasant populations in the country and the fall harvest will again be among the leading states. The best areas this year will likely be in the northern half of the Kansas pheasant range.
Fair to good does not equal to an increase in bird numbers. With the carry over from last year and a mild winter, a good hatch would have put us back to where we were from 2004 to 2010. The hatch did not happen the way we would have liked. Pheasants were paired up every where and all over the roads in March April and May. The weather did not cooperate. Here is what happens to those chicks of a second hatch which is what we had, this is from Pheasants Forever.
"Successful First Nest"
It is very important that the hen's first nest be successful. If the first attempt is destroyed by weather, machinery, or predators, the future of the hen and any chicks that she might produce is grim. Recall that each time the hen attempts to nest, her physical condition deteriorates. Ideally the first attempt needs to be successful, so she can sooner begin to prepare her body for next winter. With renesting attempts, she has less time to get ready for winter, and is less likely to survive winter. Also consider that the chicks need plenty of time to grow up, then put on body fat before winter hits. The later the chicks hatch this spring, the less time they have to grow up, and the less likely they will survive the winter.
If a hen hatches her first nest in early June, the chances of her and the chicks surviving next winter is 65-75%. If her first nest was destroyed, and she tries another nest (that hatches in early July), the chance she and the chicks survive next winter is 30-50%. If the second attempt failed and she tries successfully a third time, the chances are 0-10%.
boys, I talked to my land owner, and he's in the sw part of the state, said it;s dry as a popcorn fart. up until last week. early in the summer saw a lot of birds, but lately not much. could be in the grass which is really heavy but over all he thinks it will be about like last year. which for us was pretty good, some fields had a lot of birds, but two or three miles away, nothing I;m thinking that some guys on here are just nay sayers, the sky is always falling, so if your like me your going too go regardless its not all about the kill, it;s about the friendship
Obviously not Kansas. OK, so the pic is from the early 2000s, a "fair" year after a drought. There were actually more than 20 roosters on a line of bales in Reno County on the first really cold, drizzly day of fall. I belly crawled 100 yards after a buddy let me out and had about two seconds to get the camera up, focused and take the shot. For some reason these birds stayed a split-second longer. Somewhere I have a pick of a dozen plus roosters flying off into that fog. Like this one, it's pretty grainy because cameras then, weren't what they are when it comes to clarity and ISO. I'd tell you about the three man limit of ducks we had in about 30 minutes that morning, but that can't happen in Kansas, either.
Killin: I have been after the Prairie Chickens. It has been tough. I have gone four times and only seen a few birds. My brother and myself went Saturday. He saw 8 and got one and I moved zero. I have mostly used it as an excuse to get some exercise and get the dog out.
Seeing all these photos makes me want to get a dog and start bird hunting again.
I lost my last good dog to a rattlesnake when I lived in Butler county. Struck her twice in the face, she actually recovered from the snake bites but got cancer due to the stress. Vet said it would have showed up later in life, but we would have at least had a few more good years if it hadn't been for the snake bite instead of 2 1/2 months. Can't seem to find it in me to get another dog after losing that one.
Anyone on here have a recommendation on good male pointing lab? Have a nice female I would like to breed this winter, would like to find a chocolate but doesn't have to be. Any feedback would be appreciated. Located in Emporia area but would be willing to drive for right one.
Shame.We had isolated hail storms a few weeks ago. Basically too warm here yet.U guys still have lots of teal coming.Hunting water the last few outings to take advantage of the teal bonus.Back to Ks this week to try again for deer.
ksbow- check with Brice Romero of No-limit Labs, near Goddard. He's a pro trainer who works with a lot of local pointing Labs. He should know of a good, local stud. Mine doesn't point, but is easy to stop before the flush. He is cleared for eyes, hips and elbows, thankfully.
You had a shorthair that wouldn't pick up ducks????? I'd have ended that blood line. I've had 5 GSP's and they'd all swim in Lake Michigan in December to get Bluebills. As long as they could run a bit when they got out they didn't know it was cold. I was in Rogers City on Lake Huron one fall with friend who had a really hardheaded GSP. Big dumb SOB. Anyway that dog swam east clear out of site after a duck into Lake Huron. I thought the dog must have drown. 20 minutes later here he comes back toward shore hitting the beach running west like he wanted to go jump in Lake Michigan for a swim. Come to think if it, I'd have made sure that bloodline ended too.
I'm not on here much anymore, but this thread is timely for me. Where I hunt deer on the northern end of Milford Lake, I see a lot of water fowl. Never gave it much thought until last year. I don't want to invest in boats, decoys, etc., but it occurred to me after watching several formations of Canada geese flying over that if I were on the ground with a shotgun instead of a bow or rifle, I might d alright and they'd fall over land which would make recovery easy. Never ben much of a bird hunter of any type, but I have a couple of shotguns that can handle heavy loads and steel shot. A look at the KDWP web site regarding permits and rules seems straightforward enough. Guess I've always been a bit apprehensive about water fowl as it always seemed to me it would be easy to shoot the wrong thing and then you're in it deep due to all the federal laws. Those flights of Canadas coming over my head were easy to identify, though, even for me, and I think I'm gonna give this a try this year. Any recommendations as to loads, shot sizes for steel, etc? I'm sure everybody has their own ideas. Are the 3.5" shells worth it?
On another note, I have seen a lot more quail this year than I have for a very long time, both on my place in Dickinson county and up where I deer hunt. I'd hate to shoot one as few as I've seen for years, but it sure does feel good to see them again.
3 1/2 ,12 gauge doesn't pattern near as well as people think. I compared a benelli 3 1/2 12 g to a youth model Remington with super full choke in 20 gauge and the youth model consistently placed more pellets in the turkey head at 40 yards. Several writers have noted the failure of the 3 1/2 12 gauge and said the 10 gauge is still superior
I'm sure no expert, but I understand the dynamics of steel shot and how it performs through a choke is very different from lead. I have modified tubes in both my steel shot capable guns and I think that's what I'll go with.
Recoil is something I don't exactly relish. I'm hesitant to go to the expense and pain of those 3.5" shells if there isn't a good reason. I'd truthfully like to own a 10 gauge someday, always seemed to me (a novice shotgunner so take it for what it's worth) that the 10 did in fact make more sense than the 3.5" shells.
LTG great pics!Looks like a great trip.That and seeing/hearing what's around here now makes sitting in a tree tough. Will try post a little phone vid from last nite while sitting in a pinch behind the house and a pic from this AM when I decided to forget a tree for this AM.
Great Thread! I am going to be bringing my 1 year old EP to the SW area for the opener and hopefully I can control him enough to actually shoot some birds, LOL I got him a nice GPS collar! regardless we are going to have a blast. Do most of the pheasants get their water from the crop fields, when I was there last year I don't recall seeing or finding any water in grassy/weedy areas
Wet where we were, and all our dogs have passed but we had a decent hunt. Best part was getting to hunt another opener with Dad, and my brother who brought his two boys. Uncle's were there too...it was a 40th+ straight for me and 60+ for several others.
My two brothers and I left at 3:00 A M Saturday morning and drove 3 hours west. We each shot 3 pheasants with a total of nine shots fired. We were approached by a Wildlife and Parks employee asking to fill out a WIHA report. He said most of the hunters he was talking to were having a tough time. None had averaged three birds per hunter. It was 1:00 P M and we were happy with the day and headed home.
I went on a short hunt yesterday morning without any success in the first spot. The next spot I hunted had been grazed and there was little ground cover. I did manage to shoot my first limit of quail in several years and my found a pheasant with a tipped wing after we trailed for a long ways. I was ready to make my Britanny give up (I had already) when she went on a solid point. I rushed to her as quickly as my arthritic knees allowed. I could see a rooster hiding under a small clump of grass. I could not get him to fly and I finally kicked him and he could not fly. He had a tipped wing from previous hunters. My dog had nice chase as a reward for her persistence. I was glad to get him as I doubt he could survive long term.
Hunted a private pond this morning. We shot a limit in 20 min. Brother was 3 fo 3 before we even had the blind set up. This is probably the last season for my old dog. She made all but one retrieve and hasn't moved since we got home.
Keep those updates coming, I will be in Garden City this Wednesday until December 2nd, I'm guessing there will be a lot of folks out hunting over the four day Thanksgiving weekend and the walk in spots might be hunted a bit. Agreed? I kinda have a plan for those 4 days and might even poke around in SE Colorado a few days for Scales to avoid the crowds.
Left just south of Albert Lee MN at 5 am 11/22 (and 14 degrees) trying to get to Garden City but ran out of steam after 10 hours of driving at Oakley (73 degrees!), 80 miles short of GC. Sure was a lot of corn and millet still standing I thought as I drove through KS. The Knights Inn in Oakley is really crappy in case anyone was wondering.
Anyway, left early and got southwest of GC a little after sunrise and I'll tell you what, the SW part of KS is loaded with pheasants this year. Shot two pretty quick and saw maybe 35 roosters before it got to 75 degrees. With the heat, the dogs were beat. Hens,???? 50 maybe? But zero quail. and I'd rather shoot 2 quail to 8 pheasants. Pheasants are heavy to lug around in the game bag. Quail, not so much.
Dogs have been hunting in snow in MI the past few weekends so anything over 65 degrees is really getting to them. But the birds are thick here. Have a few spots from last year I found quail on so I'l hit those tomorrow before the warm sets in.
If there are any bird hunters with pointing dogs in the GC area that want to get out, let me know. Not looking for spots. There are birds anywhere there's harvested crops and cover. Just seeing if anyone wants to run dogs.
I love Kansas, you guys have it made. Have seen 100's of pheasants, found two nice coveys of quail, moved a bunch of deer including a super nice buck, found a 5 acre pond on a WIHA that had maybe 1000 ducks on it that didn't want to leave. I had no duck stamp or steel with me so I just watched them buzz by in easy range as if they knew I couldn't shoot them. Tempting, and noted for next year. But time to start drifting east and will be in Great Bend tomorrow for a few days. Going to hunt Rush County in the morning. What's the better County to hunt in your option, Rush or Ellsworth?
Great Bend is an ugly town. Just an FYI. Hunted Rush County today and it took a while to figure things out. Like, if there are more than 5 beer cans per road section, skip that WIHA. You Kansas folks sure are litter bugs and heavy Bud Lite drinkers! Pick your damn cans up! Bet I saw 150 cans on the side of the road today. And don't blame it on the out of state guys, I don't drink Bud Lite. I piss Bud Lite after I drink good beer. :)
Anyway, lots of birds this afternoon. Stopped the truck within 30 yards of two big covey of quail and didn't know it until we got back to the truck and the dogs are pointing where they peed an hour earlier. Over all, lots of pheasants and plenty of quail. Took time but got on them by looking for WIHA's with no beer cans and made that a pattern. Got pics but the Best Western in Great Bend has bad internet so pics are not being received. And you would figure that my Sprint Network would be great being that Sprint headquarters are 200 miles away but no. It sucks too.
That is an Agnew. 120 year old English16 ga, 2 1/2" chambers with 30" Damascus barrels. Still tight as the day is was made. The barrels were re-browned at some point in its past and I refinished the stock (hand rubbed oil of course). RST makes 2 1/2" copper plated 6's that I use on pheasants. Really puts them down.
At home cleaning birds and thought this youngster was interesting. I see them this size the beginning of September in Montana. His mom must have had to re-nest. He was in a group of maybe 10 or 12 birds that flushed out of a tumble weed patch and was the only one with no tail.
I too have a trio of 16 gauges I love to hunt with. I was always told by gunsmiths that the Damascus barrels were never meant for high pressure smokeless loads and they will sometimes split or worse. I have always avoided buying shotguns made as such.
My gun was re-proofed in England at some point and is safe with modern loads. It's all about chamber pressure and RST understands that when they offer shot shells for older guns keeping the pressure lower than what you would get from say a Winchester shell that performs the same. It's slightly more important to be sure our chamber length fits the shells when you have laminated steel barrels. I won't run 70mm shells (2 3/4") in this gun but in my more modern Belgian 16ga (1935) with fluid steel barrels, I will shoot 70 mm shells and have even shot slugs in it even though the chambers are 65mm (2 1/2") I wouldn't do that if it was a Purdey or a Boss but a cheaper Belgian guild gun, they were over built to start with so they wouldn't fail and I don't worry about failure.
You seem to know a lot about these old things. Couple years ago I wandered into a gun shop out in the country and left with a Belgian double with hammers in great shape. I paid less than $300 and it has solid steel barrels but no manufacturers name. It is identical to one that is worth well over a thousand dollars though. I was told by Murphy's in Augusta it was probably made in early 1900's by several gunsmiths that made one part and sent it in down the line until it was fully assembled. I'll never sell it. I shot a quail, rabbit, and teal on my beloved old lab's final hunt with it.
Thornton if you haven't done so yet, the internet has all the Belgian proof marks listed and it's easy to search your shotgun and get lots of info on it. Just type in Belgian double proof marks. The lands on your barrel tell the story. Good luck and enjoy your vintage firearms. They will out live you.
Don't say that Matt. I'm heading back to KS next week for the rest of December and maybe the first week of January. Got a duck stamp, the KS waterfowl license, dug out a box of steel and was going to hit that pond north of Dodge that was covered up with ducks the last time I was there. There were Woody's on the ponds drain too. After buffleheads and teal, there ain't a better eating duck then a Woody.
I am still doing some bird hunting. 400 acres of WIHA came out right before hunting season started. Another 120 is coming out any time. I've got 2 coveys on my place and have chased them with the pup some.
Talked to some guys from SW Louisiana as I was coming out with my one duck (coincidentally the only one I saw yesterday). They had been in Kansas 3 days and had yet to pull the trigger on a duck. Not even the ponds around here have birds. I consider a bad year under 100 ducks. I broke into double digits yesterday. This was Maggie's second ever duck retrieve and first drake mallard.
Nobody has seen the duck hunting this bad around here. We went after snows the other day and to my surprise had some good decoying action. They are coming out late in the afternoon so we had a single, small bunch, and big bunch decoy before shooting hours ended. Most came out at 1715 or so.
Finally made it out to hunt some roosters. Had about 1 1/2 hour and managed to shoot my four, thanks to hitting roosting areas the last 15 minutes. Spotty, as most predicted. Some seeing very few. Another guy manages a quarter-section where they’ve taken 74 roosters so far, and there still seems to be quite a few. Hope to make it out to true western Kansas next week. Hearing some insane quail reports, even on some public areas.
I hunted today for 30 minutes. Daughter wanted to go so we ran behind the house. I was cutting down honey locusts last night and saw a covey in my quail foodplot so that is where we headed. They were going to let us go by them until the dog found em. Shot one with one shot from my new O/U and the pup went and got it. Small covey and I didn't pursue after the break. Wish we had pheasants as they would be all up in this. My daughter was very excited.
Anytime. It's a quail foodplot mix I got from the state. I have native grasses with brushpiles on 2 sides of it. Just came in from cutting trees. Saw a covey as I was driving out right at my gate. It will be going back to native grass this spring, but I am saving an acre just for quail food plots.
Found 4 goose fields last night. One is disked corn drilled to WW with zero cover to hide. One has a good hide but they said no until after rifle deer is over. One wanted to know how much money we’d pay to hunt it. Last one is absolutely loaded. We can get permission but the only cover is on the opposite side of the field from where the birds are. Geese are only coming out at about 4 pm till dark.
Lots of geese around. I’ve shot a few quail. Birds haven’t been staying in the same field 2 days in a row. Brother had a field with 1k ducks and 1k snows/canadas in it. They didn’t come back the next day. They shot 4 geese and 2 ducks. I found a field with probably 5k ducks Friday afternoon. Saturday 7 yes 7 came back to the field. Odd year and pressure has been insane. The tourism arm is apparently doing their job.
Well not including oos freelancing we have TAW, Falling Feathers, Neosho River Outfitters, Duck Wild Waterfowl, Last Pass Waterfowl, KPO, Prairie Thunder and I am sure I am missing some. It’s freaking crazy around here.
Got out Monday with Jake and Dan, a good friend of Jake’s late father. The kid can flat use a goose call. Had fun taking turns until we had our 18 and Dan shot a limit of mallards. I had a limit of roosters the afternoon before. Hope to hit things hard the last seven days of the month.