Hunting Oklahoma Upland Birds Without A Dog
If you’re an upland bird hunter who has always used a dog, is between pups or just beginning the sport, you may be thinking that it’s difficult to take down your limit of grouse, pheasants or quail without a canine companion at your side. While a trained dog is nice to have, it isn’t a necessity. Upland bird hunting can be quite fun and challenging without a dog if you’re prepared and know what to expect.
Take a Friend
If you’ve got a buddy that enjoys hunting fowl too, team up and split the duties that a dog would help with. Of course, this will require you to hunt smart and concentrate on areas where birds are possibly grouped. You’ll have to quickly move through thin covered landscapes, bust down thick brush, retrieve and bag your trophies. It’s a little more work, gets the blood pumping and definitely teaches you to appreciate a well-trained four-legged hunting partner. If you’re a lone hunter though, you need some techniques to help.
Play the Edges
Don’t be intimidated by large fields of stubble or grasslands. Wisely use these areas of terrain to mix up your hunting. Zig and zag to the ends of these hunting grounds and concentrate on smaller areas that provide cover.
Flush Near the End
Upland birds will find cover that’s both dense and thin. Rows of wheat stubble, corn and fence lines offer linear cover that hides the birds but allows them to spot danger. If you are on your own, one of the best ways to hunt upland birds without a dog is by surprising them just before or after a storm. Birds will tend to stay in the cover longer and by quickly jogging to one end, you’ll have a better opportunity to flush out hesitant birds. This works even better after a winter storm.
Stir Up Thicket
If you come along areas of thick, heavy brush, concentrate on areas that have smaller clumps of cover. Rustle the sides to scare out squeamish birds and throw sticks or rocks in the middle to flush out any birds that are hiding. Be prepared to quickly shoot–birds can pop out fast.
When you have a gameplan, mix up your pace, direction and speed, you’ll keep your prey guessing and have a better opportunity to take a few down.