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rharm

Advice on guides/preserves

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I am trying to get into pheasant hunting so I can try to introduce it to my 7 year old son as he gets older. Looking for advise/suggestions on guides or preserves in Southern Minnesota. I have hunted occasionally with friends growing up, but lack the knowledge. Anyone know of a place that isn't to expensive to go where the guides help educate (i.e. what types of cover to hunt, bird cleaning, etc) I don't know if there are ones that would allow a son to walk along on the hunt.

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You might talk to the folks at Caribou gun club if you are interested in a preserve hunt for pheasants. They are pretty reasonable and a short drive from the cities. Hunting wild pheasant without a dog is tough business in Minnesota. You might be better off grouse hunting if you plan on being dogless.

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Randy at Caribou Gun Club will help you out all he can with whatever information you may need. If you use the hunt club, yes you're son can walk along. You pay for the birds they release.

I believe they still rent out their dogs for a hunt also at the gun club.

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Although a preserve might be the best bet for surefire action, I tend to frown upon them. I am not a fan of game farm birds. My dog seems to catch 90% of them. If they do get up and fly they don't do it like a wild bird. They might fly 50 yards max and they set back down and wait. Nothing beats a wild born bird!

If you want to get close and personal with the birds to educate your son. I would recommend just buying a couple birds from a game farm and show him the birds and educate him. Then you can put the bird to sleep plant the bird and than you know exactly where they are. (you could do this when hes is busy doing something else so he doesn't see you plant the birds)

You knowing where the birds are, you can flush them up. take off the safety and hope to heck you still got your dead eye aim!

As for cover and such. It depends on the area. But they do tend to love crop fields, sloughs, and thickets. Pretty much anything with lots of cover with food and water near by.

Once fall comes around I would be willing to teach you what I know. I am only 26 but have been walking along side my dad since I was 6, and hunting since I was 12!

The biggest thing is a good hunting dog, and a decent place to hunt. Most Wildlife Management Areas tend to get pounded. I try to shy away from them unless im in the south west corner of Minnesota. Seems there are more birds there than up here by the cities.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask I could probably help answer them.

Otherwise if you want to spend the money any game far will be more than willing to let your son walk behind you. Not sure how much information they would educate you with about pheasant hunting. Its a whole other world hunting wild birds to game farm birds.

Nick

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take the kid to the Pheasants Forever youth event in Rosemount on August 23 and then buy both of you a PF membership. The kid will enjoy the magazine he gets and yours will end up being a road guide for you as you learn the sport.

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Do a game farm. Buy some birds. Rent a guide & dog (a pointing dog for a rental may be best from a safety standpoint at first). And have at it. The guide should be able to help answer questions, etc. Caribou, Traxlers and other game farms should provide these services. Do some research and make some calls and ask questions.

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You and your son should go to the Gamefair for a day, it starts next weekend. There will be all kinds of upland hunting stuff to see, dogs, dog handling, lots of gear, seminars, lots of exhibitors including huntung preserves, shooting demonstrations and lots more. I bet your son would love it.

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I would try the game farm first, to see if its something your son would even be interested in. Plus, its a good way to gain some experience with your gun and shake the rust off. Plus its a more controlled environment with some amenities that might act as a "bridge" to the real thing.

I hunt both wild land and game farms, and enjoy them both for different reasons.

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Really depends on where you are hunting and what you get from the guide. Is it someone guiding using their dog.... Is it someone guiding by taking you out to thier property..... All kind of depends.

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I have never used one but know land owners that really get T'd off at some of them. They talk about giving a guy permission once and then the guy thinks he has it for every client. Others claim the guys just tresspass. I don't know how you find out what's going on and who's a straight operator. I suspect that the pay is by the half day or day, not the hour and certainly not by the bird - at least not wild birds.

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I occassionally hunt a preserve, but always with my own dogs .. no guide.

The majority of preserves running in Minnesota charge customers a base rate per pheasant released (not shot).

Rates between $14 and $20 per bird are relatively common for pheasants released at equal roosters and hens. Rates rise for a rooster only release.

Most preserves cater to hunters with dogs. They plant birds in cover, show you the boundaries and let you have at it.

Most preserves then charge extra for providing a dog or guide and dog for a hunt. Prices that I have seen posted on their web sites range from $20 to $100 with a rate of about $60 fairly common. If the guide is not the owner and he and his dogs do well, then I would guess I would suggest you tip him and additional $20.

Google MN hunting preserves. Call them and discuss your situation.

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There is so much public ground and so many birds in SW MN that I don't know why anyone would pay to go hunt pheasants. I can't think of a type of hunting in Minnesota that is more accessable to the public than pheasant hunting. There are literally 1000's of acres down here to hunt that is totally open to the public. It is true, that you have to work a little harder for them on public ground, and there is alot of hunting pressure, but if you put your time in and learn where the pheasants like to be in different situations (pressure, weather) you will shoot a 2 bird limit most days.

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