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tmvikings

Late season helping hints

44 posts in this topic

So what do you old times use to bag birds this time of year or last 4 weeks of the season. Thinking it would be good to tell all so everyone can learn. Might even be a thing or two that one would learn, like hunt the cattails and up the shells size for the longer shots. Another one would be hunt the last hour of the day when the birds are moving and so on. Happy hunting

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what i do is take my dog into the field. when a hen gets up i let it go, but if its a rooster i shoot it (or at least attempt). if it falls my dog brings it back to me. since its dec 1 i do this 3 times and then quit.

hope thats helpful smile

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On a more serious note, I try to:

1) allow the dogs to work into the wind.

2) work the cattails until I'm blue in the face.

3) identify the escape routes the birds will take and adjust my game plan accordingly.

4) walk/stop/walk/stop. The birds every hunter walks by will jump if you pause ocassionally.

5) don't be afraid to walk an area if it's already been hit.

6) take your time, walk slow, give the dogs time to work.

7) talk as little as possible. This is a big reason birds will spook early.

8) depending on the time of day, I key in on different land structures. i.e. sloughs/water, grass, cattails, hillsides, shrubs/brush.

9) don't gage the success of the hunt on the number of birds in the bag at the end of the hunt

10) hunt with friends/family. It's more fun to spend the time in the field with others. Easier to earn bragging rights too. grin

11) Trust the dogs nose and watch their body language. When the tail becomes a blur, it's showtime.

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Talking from experience on the WMA's this past weekend. Be very quiet getting out of the car and apporaching the field, we spooked some before even setting foot in the weeds. Find the thickest, heaviest cover you can find. Their normal early fall spots have gotten lots of pressure so they have moved on from there. As said early really rely on dogs and stop every now and then to spook them. There is a great article in this months Minnesota Sportsman Magazine on this exact topic that was a good read.

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Even though I like hunting with family and friends, I find the best way to get late season birds is to hunt solo. Just me and the dog. I am ready to go when I park the truck (if you need to get the dog collared up stop a couple miles before the field and do it), no slamming of truck doors and do not beep horn with the electronic locking function. I do not speak in the field, commands to the dog are almost zero and I follow his lead in the field. He has the nose and would know better than I would where the birds are at.

I have found that we can do circles in the cattails, but I continue to follow his lead. I have often bagged birds when he doubles back on an area we have already hunted. The late season birds that do not flush wild are smart. Doubling back is common - trust the dog. Believe the dog and appreciate any late season bird that is harvested.

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I love #6. I feel that too many people often times don't let the dogs properly work a thick heavy cover area. This often leads to lost opportunities. Give yourself and your body a break and let your dogs fully get through the cover. What a great tip. Hey we have nothing but time, right? Enjoy it.

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1. Look for smaller, thick areas that maybe have been overlooked by others earlier in the season.

2. Use blockers when possible.

3. Avoid shotgun deer hunting areas (Iowa's season starting this weekend).

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Even though I like hunting with family and friends, I find the best way to get late season birds is to hunt solo. Just me and the dog. I am ready to go when I park the truck (if you need to get the dog collared up stop a couple miles before the field and do it), no slamming of truck doors and do not beep horn with the electronic locking function. I do not speak in the field, commands to the dog are almost zero and I follow his lead in the field. He has the nose and would know better than I would where the birds are at.

I have found that we can do circles in the cattails, but I continue to follow his lead. I have often bagged birds when he doubles back on an area we have already hunted. The late season birds that do not flush wild are smart. Doubling back is common - trust the dog. Believe the dog and appreciate any late season bird that is harvested.

I'm with 2 da gills, I like to 'run silent'. Unfortunatly my old lab is so excited she yips when we get out of the truck but once we're a half mile away, I don't say a thing, my labs know to run in front of me, so when I change directions, they quarter in front of me. Take that whistle and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.

Another tip that no one has mentioned is hunt during or right after a weather event. On a nice sunny 40 degree day you may think 'lets go pheasant hunting' but the birds are scattered all over, up on the fencelines, in the stubble fields, they're tough to round up. You're better off to finish up your fall lawn chores. But if we've had six inches of snow or even a windy day will drive them into the heavy cover.

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2 DA GILLS nailed it. I prefer hunting alone or with 1 other person. There is so much satisfaction in bagging a late season bird with just you and the dog against the birds. Personally I'll hunt the grass first and the cattails as a last resort. I hate hunting cattails. Having said that, the cattails - if they are available - are the place where the majority of the birds seem to be.

Blackjack's comment on a weather event can be good too even though I'll still hunt when it's 40 and sunny. Get out there when it's snowing and oftentimes the birds seem like they are glued to the ground because they are sitting so tight.

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Another thing that I haven't noticed anyone post (I just skimmed over everthing) is walking in a zig-zag pattern. I find that I can often times kick up those birds that are trying to double back if I walk a zig-zag line behind the dog.

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While bow hunting I've noticed close to sunset I see most the birds I do see, commin onto the woods edge to roost I assume.May pay off if theres treed areas to try the 15 yd edge close to sundown.

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If possible, always go in a different way than the standard entrance point to the land, i.e. never use the "main parking area".

When you put up a bunch of birds watch where the roosters go. Don't ever hunt them the same way they went in. Circle around that patch of cover and push them back the way they came in, they tend to hold better.

If you can get out right after a snow hunt super slow, and quiet and you should be able to get right up on the birds.

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Great notes that will help anyone new to the sport. Thanks for the helpful advice!!!!!!

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Any place that you hunt public or private that has those clumps of red willows be sure to check out. Pheasant magnets.

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The red willows tip is right on. Another important thing to remember about cattails is to hunt the shorelines with a treeline bordering them. Areas of the cattails that have knocked down areas, or openings in them also tend to hold more birds in the area.

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Went out last night for the last hour 1/2- but the first three spots I hunt were taken so I moved on. Ended only gettting about 30 min to hunt and had got a nice point from my Brit walked up thinking for sure it would be a hen but ended up being a JR Rooster. Not bad 30 min one bird- was very surprized to see so many hunters out for a Wednesday afternoon.

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With no snow, i am focusing on the edges. These birds unless pushed deep will still want to be on field edges etc. feeding. During the last hour I will focus on some thicker cover.

Here is a pic of my pointer from this weekend locked up on a bird on the edge of the grass and cattail. i attack phez hunting like fishing and focus on transition areas between food and cover. Adam

004012-1.jpg

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That one did but if you have seen me shoot you wouldnt presume anything. grin

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Thanks for posting the pic. Makes me want to bring the camera the next time I take the shorthair out.

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Looks like the dog has the tip of his tail painted? GOOD one

Thats blood. Its happens to my setters also, they rub the skin off all the way down to bone from going through the thick stuff. That is the sign of a hard working dog.

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