The best way to succeed at hunting pheasants is to join forces with a properly trained bird dog. The second best way is by yourself, without a dog. Contrary to conventional wisdom, bagging ringnecks with no help other than that of your boots, gun, and shells isn’t just possible, it’s amazingly effective. I urge everyone to hunt with a dog, and I do so myself whenever I can. But sometimes I just can’t, and yet I get my roosters anyway. Bowser’s biggest boost to your bag comes in the form of retrieves. Yes, pointers and flushers can probably locate more birds than you could alone, but their real contribution is fetching dead and crippled birds from the weeds. You can’t beat four legs and a canine nose for that. Therefore, here are three things you must do when you’re dogless in Dakota.