Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Killin' Roosters

I have always said I am a hunter, but I don't necessarily like killing. The bigger the animal, the more compassion I seem to have. Shooting a bear doesn't excite me much. Elk hunting is my game due to the challenge of it on public land, but I still want to make a quick, clean kill more than anything.
Many "genteel" sportsmen and women who enjoy tweed and fly fishing, hunt birds, but pass on big game blood sports. Birds are, I guess, perceived more as targets, they not being mammals running around on four legs. I get that, although I still have a lot of love for the native birds and Hungarian Partridge. Who wouldn't love any little covey bird that huddles up to survive the wicked blizzards of the prairie? I hunt all of the above, but with great reverence.
Pheasants are different. I like to shoot them dead. Especially the late season, running devils that they are. Hunting in November and December is often most productive with a couple of guys pushing birds and a couple more doing some blocking. Mix in a few dogs, doing what they do, and you can get the buggers to eventually flush. I have never said pheasant shooting is difficult, but getting them to fly can be.
The pheasant hunting I cherish the most occurs in tall native grasses or CRP. One hunter, one dog and one wily rooster. It may require multiple points by the dog and a brisk pace by the hunter, but if you are taking baby steps or expecting your dog to not relocate, you lose, the rooster wins. When it comes to pheasants, I like to win. I assume the dogs do also.


  1. Amen! Well said. I leave for SD in two day for five glorious days of pheasant euphoria. It's safe to say I'm getting my game face on for chasing those crazy runners from one end of the state to another. I'm not sure there's another bird out there that is so beautiful yet so easy to hate.

  2. All this time I thought I was the only one who hated roosters... and I say this from Kansas, some of the best ditch parrot hunting in the country. Shoot 'em, boys!