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Thread: How to retrieve birds without a dog

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    South Dakota / Arizona


    Quote Originally Posted by A5 Sweet 16 View Post
    What am I missing? It's just giving suggestions on how to find downed birds if you're dogless. Where's the controversy?
    I'm not sure what got him banned but if you look at his previous posts the majority are a link to the "bird hunting society" site and a few to another site. Not sure what his motive was in posting those links without any other interaction on the thread.
    Janee's August Breeze - Bree

    Godfather's Dakota Elle - Elle
    1X NSTRA Champion
    11/16/2008 - 11/22/2016

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    SW Missouri


    "our group" is usually good about 'triangulating' where the bird goes down at. I'll get a line on it, dad will get a line on it, brother in law a line on it. Where the lines meet is where the bird is. If it goes down with a good leg though and not dead, I really wish for the dog I had as a kid that was deadly on cripples. Brother in laws lab is turning into a good replacement though.

    Often we'll hang a hat on a tall weed to mark the area so as our search widens we at least know where we started.

    Many a times a lone feather was enough to get us where the bird was. Have to take into account where the wind blew that feather from though as it fell to earth.

    Newbies that sometimes hunt in 'our group' often are confused the first time we take off running to where a bird fell while they're looking around and congratulating each other on the shot that dropped a bird with a good leg and his head up ready for the track meet.

  3. #13


    I agree.I would not hunt without my dog. Having a dog, is everything, even if the dog flushes birds out of range.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Northern Illinois


    I'll leave the dog behind once in a while to hunt pheasants when there's snow on the ground. I've done well with tracking birds in fresh snow that's been on the ground for a couple hours. Giving the birds a few hours to start moving around and making tacks in the snow helps. If the snow has been around for a few days, it's good to learn the difference between fresh tracks and older tracks so you're not wasting time tracking down a bird that's long gone.

    Once a pheasant is knocked down I'll keep my eyes on the spot he dropped. Never take your eye off that area until you get there. If the bird is ready to run you can used the snow to track him down and locate him without a dog.
    "Through license fees and excise tax on arms and gear, sportsmen contribute over $200 million per year for wildlife conservation programs" (U.S. fish and wildlife service)

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Sioux Falls, SD


    Triangulating, spot marking, getting there quickly..... that's all important. But then you just get down on all 4's and sniff around until you find it. Are you guys saying you can't smell them?
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2017


    I've hunted over some poorly trained dogs and I can say for a fact that in those cases I would have much rather hunted without a dog. A bad one can ruin a hunt quickly.

    For years I hunted without a dog because I didn't have the means, affordability, time, or devotion required to train and have one. I still did OK. I actually did better than a lot of people I know who had dogs too. Now that I have a dog that's been trained properly, I wouldn't go without her.

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