If you hunt pheasants by flushing them out with a group, don’t let the drivers get all the birds. A few simple strategies will put blockers in the right place for more shooting opportunities.
1. Plan your Span
End blockers should stand close enough that birds will flush rather than run between them. The spacing is correct when a rooster can’t fly between two hunters while out of range of both guns.
2. Close the Side Door
Space side blockers a little farther apart. They should stand far enough from the edge that they don’t flush birds while walking in.
3. Try “Moving” Blockers
If you’re short on people, use fewer side blockers, but have them advance ahead of the drivers by 30 to 50 yards and stay outside the cover. This keeps them in range of birds that flush in front of the line as it progresses.
The moving blocker strategy also works with as few as a carload of hunters, but with a little change-up. Everyone drives, and when the line gets to about 100 yards from the end of the field, stop walking and have the side blockers swing wide around and reposition at the end. This ensures everyone gets some shooting.
4. Plug the Gaps
Smart roosters stay concealed as long as possible by following drainage ditches, fencerows, and other strips of cover. Position a blocker close to these escape routes, and always block field corners.
5. Use Cover
Stand behind a fencerow or round bale, or even in a road ditch, where legal. Safety is paramount. Make sure all shooters know where other hunters are, and overdo the blaze orange.