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Dec 8, 2021 - 3:59:20 PM
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4100 posts since 4/22/2018

I’ve just had a fantastic day out in the Yorkshire Dales on a pheasant shoot. The pictures aren’t great because I was concentrating on the shooting but hopefully you’ll get an idea of the lovely countryside and the traditional clothes we wear on these days. A great day with good friends and some now very tired dogs - can’t beat it!






Dec 8, 2021 - 4:19:10 PM

623 posts since 12/28/2010

I looked real hard but couldn't find any trace of feathers.

Dec 8, 2021 - 4:26:30 PM
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4100 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by nograss5150

I looked real hard but couldn't find any trace of feathers.


I didn't want to put pictures of dead stuff on a non hunting forum.  There were definitely feathers!

Dec 8, 2021 - 4:57:24 PM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

14247 posts since 5/24/2005

Looks like a beautiful place to hunt. Brad

Dec 8, 2021 - 5:56:04 PM

Brian T

Canada

19014 posts since 6/5/2008

What's your choice? s/s 12 bore and ??? # shot in 3"?

When I could, walking up birds for a day was a dream of a day.

Dec 8, 2021 - 6:24:37 PM
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rvrose

USA

836 posts since 6/29/2007

Cool pics, I love to hunt pheasant. It's been a bit too warm so far here in central Illinois and they run instead of flushing.

Rick

Dec 8, 2021 - 6:44:41 PM

bubbalouie

Canada

15682 posts since 9/27/2007
Online Now

Nice Photos!

Dec 8, 2021 - 7:31:48 PM
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12848 posts since 1/15/2005

Beautiful ……. wish I had been with you. Are dogs a must when hunting in grass that short? I love hunting with dogs, but we are usually hunting in grass at least up to our knees, or cornfields with old stalks above your waist.

Dec 9, 2021 - 1:21:32 AM
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4100 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Brian T

What's your choice? s/s 12 bore and ??? # shot in 3"?

When I could, walking up birds for a day was a dream of a day.


Brian, i use and O/U for all my shooting.  Shot is 6 in 30g 2.75''.  I always keep some non toxic larger shot at the end of my belt in case the occasional goose makes an appearance.

Dec 9, 2021 - 1:23:30 AM

4100 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by rvrose

Cool pics, I love to hunt pheasant. It's been a bit too warm so far here in central Illinois and they run instead of flushing.

Rick


Rick, we've just had a couple of very big storms and cold spells here in the UK.  Apparently there was a marked difference in the birds on this shoot compared to those previous to the cold wild weather.  Sounds like as with you, we need the poor weather to group up and fly.

Dec 9, 2021 - 2:07:11 AM
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4100 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by BanjoLink

Beautiful ……. wish I had been with you. Are dogs a must when hunting in grass that short? I love hunting with dogs, but we are usually hunting in grass at least up to our knees, or cornfields with old stalks above your waist.


You'd have loved it mate - it really is a great day.

In short RE the dogs you can see in the pictures, no, those dogs aren't necessary.  There are three typical types of pheasant shooting here.  1) Walked up shooting - most similar to your upland bird hunting.  2) Walk one, stand one - if there are 12 guns (shooters) 6 would stand and shoot whilst the other 6 flushed birds (using dogs).

3) Formal driven - this is what you can see in the picture.  There are 3 groups of people on the shoot, the 'guns' (shooters), the 'beaters' (who drive and flush birds) and 'pickers up' (people with very well trained retrievers who will stand behind the guns and collect shot birds).  The guns stand on 'pegs' which are marked points on the ground and the dogs you can see in the pics are 'peg dogs' - they belong to the guns and the idea is that they sit there obediently and occasionally go and pick up a bird once instructed to do so.  In reality, the dogs mostly aren't as well trained as they should be and along with the bangs of shots being fired, the air is usually think with upper class accents screaming expletives and ''Jasper/Thor/Sebastian/etc - get back here you bloody dog!' as the Labradors head out unprompted to 'retrieve' birds dropped by other guns and then possibly do a victory lap just to show how proud they are and to push their owners another notch closer to bursting a blood vessel.  Whilst this is going on, behind the guns, there will be a quiet row of  the pickers up, each accompanied by one or two perfectly trained, quiet, steady dogs who are sat patiently observing where all of the other birds have dropped - whilst discreetly chuckling to themselves about the antics of Jasper and his owner.  Generally, shoot owners/manager prefer for the guns to leave their dogs at home, but usually, the guns are convinced this time their dog will act perfectly and be the star of the show.  My own spaniel is akin to your upland bird dogs, she wants to retrieve everything she flushed for me - I'd never take her on a day like this when I'm shooting, it would be torture for her to be tied next to me and noisy for everyone else.  In front of the guns, the beaters will be working, and this is probably what you cant see in the pics.  The birds will be holed up in woodland and cover crops (Kale/Maize/etc) and the beaters along with their dogs will be working through that in the manner which you described in your own way of hunting with dogs.  One push of birds through a particular woodland/crop is called a 'Drive' and once it has been pushed through, everyone would move onto another location with a new woodland/cover for the next drive.  There's usually 5 or 6 drives in a day with a spot of lunch half way through.

The driven days are definitely not 'hunting'  but it is a great day out if you are an outdoors hunting shooting fishing type.  It's a very traditional reflection of how it was done back in 'the lord of the manor days' which is why we wear tweed and plus fours.  Even tipping the keeper (the head beater) is done in a time honoured way of folding the bank notes into the palm of your hand and passing it across in a handshake with him pocketing it without looking - everyone knows what is going on but it was to save the embarrassment of having a league of who are the big tippers and who are the tight wads.  In order to keep the pheasant shoots exclusive, it was illegal to shoot them on a Sunday - the only day the lower classes had off from work.  To this day, it is still the case, it's still illegal to shoot game birds on a Sunday.

At the end of the shoot, it's traditional to take a brace (a cock and a hen) of birds.  What you will always notice is that those guns with wayward peg dogs will never select a brace that was picked by their own Jasper/Sebastian/etc as these birds will be half plucked, partially eviscerated and bedraggled after three laps of a 10 acre field - hence my original common of 'no, those dogs aren't necessary' smiley 

Dec 9, 2021 - 5:49:27 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

14247 posts since 5/24/2005

Jonty, You mean you blokes over there yell at your dogs! ;-)

Nothing better than a good field hunt...with a "well-trained" dog. Trouble is, I have hunted behind too many that weren't. So between the yelling at the dogs to get back here, the dog owners are arguing about how best to train dogs and how to fix the other dog's bad habits.
Most of my growing up hunting was without dogs and in small group of two to four folks. Having access to so much family ground loaded with pheasant or quail, or both, with great mixed cover, I got spoiled. Love it, when it is cold and snowy patches around. A ten yard shot so much better then those pheasants flushing out of range, eh.
Brad

Dec 9, 2021 - 6:24:18 AM
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DC5

USA

22070 posts since 6/30/2015

Back when I hunted, pheasant hunting was my favorite, both to hunt, and to eat. I haven't even seen a pheasant in over 20 years, maybe more. The turkeys have made such a strong comeback that I don't think the pheasants can compete. Not even sure if they still stock them around here.

Dec 9, 2021 - 6:56:12 AM

12848 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Wet Spaniel
quote:
Originally posted by BanjoLink

Beautiful ……. wish I had been with you. Are dogs a must when hunting in grass that short? I love hunting with dogs, but we are usually hunting in grass at least up to our knees, or cornfields with old stalks above your waist.


You'd have loved it mate - it really is a great day.

In short RE the dogs you can see in the pictures, no, those dogs aren't necessary.  There are three typical types of pheasant shooting here.  1) Walked up shooting - most similar to your upland bird hunting.  2) Walk one, stand one - if there are 12 guns (shooters) 6 would stand and shoot whilst the other 6 flushed birds (using dogs).

3) Formal driven - this is what you can see in the picture.  There are 3 groups of people on the shoot, the 'guns' (shooters), the 'beaters' (who drive and flush birds) and 'pickers up' (people with very well trained retrievers who will stand behind the guns and collect shot birds).  The guns stand on 'pegs' which are marked points on the ground and the dogs you can see in the pics are 'peg dogs' - they belong to the guns and the idea is that they sit there obediently and occasionally go and pick up a bird once instructed to do so.  In reality, the dogs mostly aren't as well trained as they should be and along with the bangs of shots being fired, the air is usually think with upper class accents screaming expletives and ''Jasper/Thor/Sebastian/etc - get back here you bloody dog!' as the Labradors head out unprompted to 'retrieve' birds dropped by other guns and then possibly do a victory lap just to show how proud they are and to push their owners another notch closer to bursting a blood vessel.  Whilst this is going on, behind the guns, there will be a quiet row of  the pickers up, each accompanied by one or two perfectly trained, quiet, steady dogs who are sat patiently observing where all of the other birds have dropped - whilst discreetly chuckling to themselves about the antics of Jasper and his owner.  Generally, shoot owners/manager prefer for the guns to leave their dogs at home, but usually, the guns are convinced this time their dog will act perfectly and be the star of the show.  My own spaniel is akin to your upland bird dogs, she wants to retrieve everything she flushed for me - I'd never take her on a day like this when I'm shooting, it would be torture for her to be tied next to me and noisy for everyone else.  In front of the guns, the beaters will be working, and this is probably what you cant see in the pics.  The birds will be holed up in woodland and cover crops (Kale/Maize/etc) and the beaters along with their dogs will be working through that in the manner which you described in your own way of hunting with dogs.  One push of birds through a particular woodland/crop is called a 'Drive' and once it has been pushed through, everyone would move onto another location with a new woodland/cover for the next drive.  There's usually 5 or 6 drives in a day with a spot of lunch half way through.

The driven days are definitely not 'hunting'  but it is a great day out if you are an outdoors hunting shooting fishing type.  It's a very traditional reflection of how it was done back in 'the lord of the manor days' which is why we wear tweed and plus fours.  Even tipping the keeper (the head beater) is done in a time honoured way of folding the bank notes into the palm of your hand and passing it across in a handshake with him pocketing it without looking - everyone knows what is going on but it was to save the embarrassment of having a league of who are the big tippers and who are the tight wads.  In order to keep the pheasant shoots exclusive, it was illegal to shoot them on a Sunday - the only day the lower classes had off from work.  To this day, it is still the case, it's still illegal to shoot game birds on a Sunday.

At the end of the shoot, it's traditional to take a brace (a cock and a hen) of birds.  What you will always notice is that those guns with wayward peg dogs will never select a brace that was picked by their own Jasper/Sebastian/etc as these birds will be half plucked, partially eviscerated and bedraggled after three laps of a 10 acre field - hence my original common of 'no, those dogs aren't necessary' smiley 


Great explanation Jonty .... thanks.

We don't use the exact term *at least the group I hunt with .... or used to) but basically do a combination of the same type of things you do.  My last pleasant hunt, in South Dakota, we hunted in grass (so tall and thick it was a chore just walking thought it and it would wear you, and the dogs out), corn fields (where the old stalks were about head high), and trees (which in South Dakota were cedar type trees that were no more than about 15 or 20 feet high).  Without dogs in the grass fields you would probably never get a bird because they would run and you would never see then ..... maybe flush one occasionally, but certainly not like the dogs flushing them.  Also when the bird would fall in the field you would never find them without a dog (we had Labs).

In the cornfields it was similar to the grass but much easier to walk.  You would often see the pheasants running through the corn up ahead of you and you really needed the dogs to flush them or they would just continue to run.  In both the grass and corn fields we would have about four or five hunters walking side by side about 30 or 40 ' apart (depending on the width of the field) and two hunters on each edge of the field about 50' or 60' ahead of the other hunters.  At the end of the field in the direction we walked there would be two "blockers" who would sit and wait for us to finish walking the field.  That was the place to be because a lot of birds flew after they had no more cover, so you could just sit there until the birds started flushing and pick them off.

I think the limit was five roosters a day, but we really just counted the number of birds that we had as a group ..... some may have shot eight and others two or three.  We used #5 shot.  Just writing about this makes me want to be back out in pheasant country right now!

Dec 9, 2021 - 8:01:05 AM
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dat

USA

31748 posts since 7/26/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Wet Spaniel
quote:
Originally posted by nograss5150

I looked real hard but couldn't find any trace of feathers.


I didn't want to put pictures of dead stuff on a non hunting forum.  There were definitely feathers!


Its easy to post dead stuff here, go to the ... what's for dinner... and post

Dec 9, 2021 - 8:03:02 AM

4100 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by rinemb

Jonty, You mean you blokes over there yell at your dogs! ;-)

 


Like a trooper Brad smiley

Because this type of shooting is 'engineered' with game cover crops and selected banks of woodland and the 'pegs' where the guns stand are pre-determined.  It is possible to have a variety of drives with the birds presenting in different ways from stellar high birds, to screaming fast to snap shooting in small pockets of clearing in a woodland.  As I say, its not true hunting as walking with your dog and a gun and seeing what is flushed, but it is a very nice fun way to spend a day.

I have another lined up for the end of January, one or two days like this a year suit me down to the ground.

Dec 9, 2021 - 8:04:46 AM

4100 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by dat
quote:
Originally posted by Wet Spaniel
quote:
Originally posted by nograss5150

I looked real hard but couldn't find any trace of feathers.


I didn't want to put pictures of dead stuff on a non hunting forum.  There were definitely feathers!


Its easy to post dead stuff here, go to the ... what's for dinner... and post


I like your thinking Sir smiley

I'll save the pic, but I think we had 40 birds all in - 4 of which will be my dinner in a day or two!

Dec 9, 2021 - 8:08:30 AM
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dat

USA

31748 posts since 7/26/2006

I never have hunted pheasant, but i bet it would be a rush, i used to hunt quail a little, that was fun, we didn’t have dogs, we just walked through the brush and grass, then when the birds climbed up your leg, jumped off your shoulders and flew off, if you didn’t have a heart attack, then you shot as they flew off

Dec 9, 2021 - 8:17:23 AM

4100 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by BanjoLink
quote:
Originally posted by Wet Spaniel
quote:
Originally posted by BanjoLink

Beautiful ……. wish I had been with you. Are dogs a must when hunting in grass that short? I love hunting with dogs, but we are usually hunting in grass at least up to our knees, or cornfields with old stalks above your waist.


You'd have loved it mate - it really is a great day.

In short RE the dogs you can see in the pictures, no, those dogs aren't necessary.  There are three typical types of pheasant shooting here.  1) Walked up shooting - most similar to your upland bird hunting.  2) Walk one, stand one - if there are 12 guns (shooters) 6 would stand and shoot whilst the other 6 flushed birds (using dogs).

3) Formal driven - this is what you can see in the picture.  There are 3 groups of people on the shoot, the 'guns' (shooters), the 'beaters' (who drive and flush birds) and 'pickers up' (people with very well trained retrievers who will stand behind the guns and collect shot birds).  The guns stand on 'pegs' which are marked points on the ground and the dogs you can see in the pics are 'peg dogs' - they belong to the guns and the idea is that they sit there obediently and occasionally go and pick up a bird once instructed to do so.  In reality, the dogs mostly aren't as well trained as they should be and along with the bangs of shots being fired, the air is usually think with upper class accents screaming expletives and ''Jasper/Thor/Sebastian/etc - get back here you bloody dog!' as the Labradors head out unprompted to 'retrieve' birds dropped by other guns and then possibly do a victory lap just to show how proud they are and to push their owners another notch closer to bursting a blood vessel.  Whilst this is going on, behind the guns, there will be a quiet row of  the pickers up, each accompanied by one or two perfectly trained, quiet, steady dogs who are sat patiently observing where all of the other birds have dropped - whilst discreetly chuckling to themselves about the antics of Jasper and his owner.  Generally, shoot owners/manager prefer for the guns to leave their dogs at home, but usually, the guns are convinced this time their dog will act perfectly and be the star of the show.  My own spaniel is akin to your upland bird dogs, she wants to retrieve everything she flushed for me - I'd never take her on a day like this when I'm shooting, it would be torture for her to be tied next to me and noisy for everyone else.  In front of the guns, the beaters will be working, and this is probably what you cant see in the pics.  The birds will be holed up in woodland and cover crops (Kale/Maize/etc) and the beaters along with their dogs will be working through that in the manner which you described in your own way of hunting with dogs.  One push of birds through a particular woodland/crop is called a 'Drive' and once it has been pushed through, everyone would move onto another location with a new woodland/cover for the next drive.  There's usually 5 or 6 drives in a day with a spot of lunch half way through.

The driven days are definitely not 'hunting'  but it is a great day out if you are an outdoors hunting shooting fishing type.  It's a very traditional reflection of how it was done back in 'the lord of the manor days' which is why we wear tweed and plus fours.  Even tipping the keeper (the head beater) is done in a time honoured way of folding the bank notes into the palm of your hand and passing it across in a handshake with him pocketing it without looking - everyone knows what is going on but it was to save the embarrassment of having a league of who are the big tippers and who are the tight wads.  In order to keep the pheasant shoots exclusive, it was illegal to shoot them on a Sunday - the only day the lower classes had off from work.  To this day, it is still the case, it's still illegal to shoot game birds on a Sunday.

At the end of the shoot, it's traditional to take a brace (a cock and a hen) of birds.  What you will always notice is that those guns with wayward peg dogs will never select a brace that was picked by their own Jasper/Sebastian/etc as these birds will be half plucked, partially eviscerated and bedraggled after three laps of a 10 acre field - hence my original common of 'no, those dogs aren't necessary' smiley 


Great explanation Jonty .... thanks.

We don't use the exact term *at least the group I hunt with .... or used to) but basically do a combination of the same type of things you do.  My last pleasant hunt, in South Dakota, we hunted in grass (so tall and thick it was a chore just walking thought it and it would wear you, and the dogs out), corn fields (where the old stalks were about head high), and trees (which in South Dakota were cedar type trees that were no more than about 15 or 20 feet high).  Without dogs in the grass fields you would probably never get a bird because they would run and you would never see then ..... maybe flush one occasionally, but certainly not like the dogs flushing them.  Also when the bird would fall in the field you would never find them without a dog (we had Labs).

In the cornfields it was similar to the grass but much easier to walk.  You would often see the pheasants running through the corn up ahead of you and you really needed the dogs to flush them or they would just continue to run.  In both the grass and corn fields we would have about four or five hunters walking side by side about 30 or 40 ' apart (depending on the width of the field) and two hunters on each edge of the field about 50' or 60' ahead of the other hunters.  At the end of the field in the direction we walked there would be two "blockers" who would sit and wait for us to finish walking the field.  That was the place to be because a lot of birds flew after they had no more cover, so you could just sit there until the birds started flushing and pick them off.

I think the limit was five roosters a day, but we really just counted the number of birds that we had as a group ..... some may have shot eight and others two or three.  We used #5 shot.  Just writing about this makes me want to be back out in pheasant country right now!


That is more my kind of hunting John, but the tradition and ceremony (for want of a better word) of a driven day is very good fun.  We have a couple of hunting buddies sometimes come over from the states to shoot deer - we are always joking that we are going to get them suited up in tweed plus fours and stockings which are far more civilized than blaze orange dontcha know!

We don't have bag limits for much over here, but as the pheasants are reared rather than completely wild, then the bag is dependent on how many birds are put down every year.  A typical bag on the shoots I usually attend is 25-100 usually between 6 guns.  I have been on one day as a guest on a commercial shoot run by a friend where originally 6 guns then 4 (when 2 had to leave early) ended up with a final bag of 426 pheasant, partridge and woodcock.  It was certainly something to experience, but I wouldn't ever feel the need to do that again.  Besides the fact, if I had been paying for that, it would have been in the region of $8000 - $8500 dollars

Dec 9, 2021 - 8:18:44 AM
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7407 posts since 9/5/2006

i use to go bow hunting with a friend of mine in wyoming,,mostly muleys and antelope.. one morning we went to an old frenchmans ranch and he says lets hunt some pheasant today..ok sure ,,,, i didn't bring a shotgun ! he shotgun? we using our bows !
oh yeah right,,,he was serious. well i thought what the heck,,needless to say i got 0.
he hunts with a a re-curve and nailed 3 in flight in a 4 hour hunt. i was just blown away...but this guy was raised in northern PA. and had been bow hunting since he could walk so ,,he is really really good.. about 15 years ago he sent me a dozen hand made arrows of cedar.. splined and fletched for my bow,,, now he is making bows and does taxidermy on the side... when he is not rebuilding trannys on cat equipment.

Dec 9, 2021 - 8:21:57 AM
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Ron C

USA

1500 posts since 3/17/2004

It seems, indeed, to be " a very nice fun way to spend a day." On pheasant hunts many years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed walking through the fields. Even if there were no birds taken, I just didn't want the day to end. When I was working in Newcastle upon Tyne, and we were driving through the countryside, I would fantasize about walking in the wet grass through those fields as the fog cleared in the morning.

Dec 9, 2021 - 11:36:09 AM

Brian T

Canada

19014 posts since 6/5/2008

I'm too far north for there to be pheasant. My lifetime favorite are the Ruffed Grouse of our forests that can burst in a clatter from right under your feet. They will hold like pheasant until you just about step on them.
We have bag limits. 10/day/species. I have shot a bag 3 times in my life of 60 years chasing those birds. I never did care and still don't. The deal is to get out, see what nature is doing. Maybe get lucky and drop a few birds, they are a bonus as always.
These days, I'm just the chauffeur for the shooters. I do enjoy watching people shoot well.

Dec 9, 2021 - 1:32:39 PM
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Players Union Member

rvrose

USA

836 posts since 6/29/2007

quote:
Originally posted by dat
quote:
Originally posted by Wet Spaniel
quote:
Originally posted by nograss5150

I looked real hard but couldn't find any trace of feathers.


I didn't want to put pictures of dead stuff on a non hunting forum.  There were definitely feathers!


Its easy to post dead stuff here, go to the ... what's for dinner... and post


What's fer dinner.....   ;-)   

Dec 9, 2021 - 3:17:52 PM
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12848 posts since 1/15/2005

A few photos of my last South Dakota pheasant hunt a few years ago!






Dec 9, 2021 - 6:02:32 PM

4100 posts since 4/22/2018

Great pics -I’m assuming g that the pheasants were once introduced but are now naturally breeding?

Dec 10, 2021 - 3:01:23 AM

3924 posts since 4/29/2012

I'm not anti-hunting (as long as it's environmentally at least neutral - which is often questionable). I was an outlier among my political confreres a few years ago, who all seemed to think that if a fox isn't hunted it dies peacefully, of old age, in bed, and surrounded by its grieving and loving family. But raising caged birds to release and use as live targets does seem a bit weird. But I'm the beneficiary. The actual dead birds are more or less a by-product of the process and I can buy a brace of pheasants in my local market for about the price of a supermarket chicken. Faisan a la bergère - in cream and cider sauce with fried apple slices - is my go-to.

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