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October 30, 2013
Pheasant Hunting: 6 Ways to Outsmart Late-Fall Roosters - 0
Hardy and experienced, late-fall roosters are also scarce, paranoid, and elusive. October’s easy pickings are gone. Here’s how to hunt the cagiest, most neurotic game bird you will ever encounter.
1. Sneak In
Tip: Before your first stop of the day, give your dog a little “pre-run” somewhere else to work off excess energy.
2. Hunt Quietly
Tip: A slow pace works best. November roosters circle, sneak, and skulk around you. Slowing down gives your dog more chances to work, and makes roosters fidgety.
3. Attack Twice
Tip: The thicker the cover, the more times you can work it. On some occasions, it has taken me three passes to get birds boiling out of a cattail thicket.
4. Think Nasty
Tip: Wear hip boots. The birds think they’re safe in wet marshland expanses where hunters don’t like to go. Wade after them. Birds will congregate on dry hummocks and islands.
5. Locate Transitions
Tip: When hunting a wet edge, such as between grass and marsh, put those hip boots to work on the watery side. Many times I have heard pheasants splashing as they run.
6. Stay Late
Tip: Scout roosting fields in your area and save one for last. Pheasants become vulnerable as they head to lighter grass areas to roost, and cockbirds are reluctant to run once they’ve settled in.