Would You Hunt Pheasants Without a Dog?

Over at the Pheasants Forever blog, Bob St. Pierre responds to a question about hunting pheasants without a dog. He provides three pretty good tips:

1) Walking linear cover: Roadsides, drainage ditches and fence rows create linear habitat a pheasant hunter can walk without a dog until he/she pushes a bird out the end or squeezes one out the side.

2) Small Patches:
Same basic principle as walking linear cover.  If you can push a small piece of habitat completely surrounded by plowed fields, then your odds of boosting a bird multiplies.

3) The Big Group Push:
If you have enough guys to walk close together, it’s possible to push a big field and jump the young birds that lack the elusiveness of running around your footsteps.

Without question, having a dog helps in the finding, flushing and fetching of ringneck pheasants, especially when it comes to wild birds. I would bet, however, that most of us don't tinker with bird dogs just to kill more pheasants. Certainly, we could fill limits with a few walkers and some blockers, but I would sooner hunt without a gun and just watch my dog flush birds than go dog-less. The dog wouldn't like it and neither would I, but to me it simply isn't a pheasant hunt without the dog. In fact, if I didn't have a springer, I wonder if I would even go.

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