You a Hunter or a Shooter?

September 10, 2014 | By | 3 Replies More

These guys are HUNTERS! Going where the birds are.

Ran across this quote from an article about Iowa’s pheasant count:

> “I haven’t even gone pheasant hunting the last couple of years because the birds just weren’t there,” said Tim Wolf, a 61-year-old bank president who lives in Waukee.


They most definitely were there. Maybe not like this…

> “But I’ve been driving the roads and seeing so many birds I just about had to go into the ditch to avoid them. I’ll be out there opening day.”

…but they were for sure there. No one set off a pheasant smart bomb in Iowa the last couple years.

Sure the weather wasn’t favorable. Sure all animal populations go up and down, and pheasant pops MAY HAVE been significantly down – “may have” because bird counts (which suck because they unduly influence ) aren’t 100% accurate.

But – and here’s the big, obvious but: IF YOU ARE A BIRD HUNTER, YOU GO. Let’s shorten that even: If you’re a hunter, you go. You can’t help it.

Do we love seeing and flushing birds? Yes. Do we love shooting and seeing birds fall? Heck yes. But is that why we do it? No way.

We do it for the same reason all bird hunters do it: We have to. And the corollary is, we do it with the singular purpose of FINDING BIRDS.

If the pheasant or whatever population “is down,” that probably just means you’re not going to get your limit on marginal, easy to hunt habitat – which, let’s face it, is barely hunting.

Hunting means doing getting you and your dog in shape, tuning up your shooting skills and reflexes, doing your homework about weather, habitat and birds, and then being a bird-hunting mofo/laser beam for a few all-too-brief months of the year.

The birds will be there. Go find ’em, and be ready when you do.


These line from the same article sums up everything about birds counts…which suck:

> Hunters dwindled as counts dropped

> Jared Wiklund, spokesman for Pheasants Forever: “What we want to do is recover a generation of hunters that may have been lost because of the low counts in the last few years.”

A GENERATION! Not passing on pheasant hunting! Because of COUNTS! Bleh.

Category: Forecasts/counts, IA, Pheasants

Comments (3)

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  1. Norm Doucet says:

    I don’t understand bird hunters sometimes. If the limit on pheasants is two or three roosters a day and birds are super plentiful you can literally slam your tailgate shut, walk for 20 minutes and get a limit. Now what? I would rather hunt hard and get some shots at some flushes and not limit out for hours. Isn’t that better? I hunt grouse now and the last few years we have been in a “down” cycle here in Michigan. Guess what? The woods are empty where I hunt. I love it. We still flush birds and get shots, just not a ton of action typically. No one in the covers I hunt is a good thing-there are SOME birds there. The buddy I hunt with says when we split up for a day and he hears a shot far away, he knows its me. And guess what? It is.

  2. Brad says:

    Agree. Grouse numbers in northern Wisconsin have been down the last couple of years. All tat means is that you have to get off the trails and logging roads and into the “thick and nasty” to find grouse. Last year we dug in deeper and found just as many birds as we did in peak years. Came home a little more beat up and tired at the end of the day but we ate grouse for dinner every night.

  3. Anthony Capuano says:

    I get it, but on the other hand, it gets discouraging when you work the coverts day after day and don’t sight a feather. I don’t need to put something in the bag to have a good day but I least like to give my dog a chance to work some birds and get a solid point or two, even if I don’t get a shot… and believe me I seldom get a shot when I venture into “the thick and nasty!!” I’m lucky even be able to move let alone shoot. I’m now on 5 years without bagging a grouse, though I still get out there every season. Mostly chalk it up to bad shooting but also due to scant opportunities.

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