Hauck: Do Bells Really Spook Pheasants?

by
posted on December 31, 2013
dogs_ah2015_fs.jpg (51)

From the time I gingerly shut my truck door to the moment I unleash my springer, I've always tried to hunt pheasants as quietly as possible. Given that the birds tend to run or flush wild, I figure, wouldn't stealth equate to more flushes, not to mention more flushes within shotgun range? And I've wondered whether the common practice of placing bells on bird dogs to track them afield might spook birds. Anthony Hauck of Pheasants Forever recently delved into this very topic, writing:

"I don’t use an e-collar on my English cocker spaniel, as, the occasional straight-line runner notwithstanding, she’s usually in gun range. I’ve ran her with a bell this entire season, on public and private land, areas with great pheasant numbers, areas with so-so pheasant numbers and areas with just a bird or two. I realize it’s my own two eyes and a small sample size, but I honestly haven’t seen anything that would lead me to believe her bell is causing birds to bust out early."

Hauck goes on to provide further evidence—although he admits to its anecdotal nature—that a bell likely has little effect on pheasants. His blog entry is worth the full read.

Perhaps a bell, like a gently applied whistle, can be tolerated by roosters far more greatly than, for instance, the human voice. In any event, Hauck has no plans to discontinue using one:

I’ve actually come to enjoy the bell, its addition a soothing sound to the hunt. And if it’s use really does cost me a bird here or there? Well, at least I know where my pup is at all times. Because the thought of anything happening to her on a hunt other than flushing and retrieving is spooky enough.

Do you hunt with a bell and, regardless, do you think its ringing is disruptive to pheasants?

Latest

First Look Henry Long Ranger Express Lead
First Look Henry Long Ranger Express Lead

First Look: Henry Long Ranger Express

The new Henry Long Ranger Express, chambered in .223 Remington, is a versatile, quick-handling carbine with a feature set aimed at property defense, predator hunting and varmint control.

#SundayGunday: Rossi Gallery

Get a closer look at the Rossi Gallery, the latest addition to our #SundayGunday series.

Recipe: Honey Ginger Crane

Sandhill crane has earned its reputation as one of the best-eating migratory waterfowl, and can be enjoyed in any dish where tender, delicious protein is desired. This recipe is a great way to enjoy this tasty bird, where the flavor of the meat stands up to the rest of the dish.

Leupold Announces RX-FullDraw 5 Laser Rangefinder

Leupold has announced the launch of the RX-FullDraw 5, the latest and most advanced addition to the company’s FullDraw family of laser rangefinders designed for bowhunters.

New for 2022: Federal Force X2 Shorty Shotshell

Federal has combined the power of two of its newest technologies to create a shotshell option that changes the nature of self-defense. The new Force X2 Shorty shells measure just 1¾ inches but hold a payload of six 00 segmenting buckshot engineered to split into two equal pieces on impact.

New for 2022: Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey

The new 940 Pro Turkey features a choice of a 24- or 18.5-inch barrel, a HiViz fiber-optic sight for quick target acquisition, Mossberg’s X-Factor ported choke tube for improved pattern density and is covered in Mossy Oak Greenleaf camo.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.