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Upland Bird Hunting

Middle-aged_Ball_Coach

Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga of H-Max
2 Year Member
I'll be salt of the earth guy.
I would have expected that to be the case. The Boss Hog types tend to be wealthy overweight southerners who have exaggerated opinions of their own importance and are more interested in bagging the two-point wildlife, even if it's mangy and broken-mouthed. I think we can all agree that that sort of person wouldn't be hanging out at HM. All but guaranteed to be rooting for an SEC team ... or the Shorthorns.
 

huskerman1

Scout Team
5 Year Member
My earliest memories of upland hunting was as a child of 8, my Dad waking me and my older bother in the dark to get dressed and ready. I was so excited, I asked my brother what gun Dad was going to let me shoot, he merely replied "Dad will show you what you need to do." We drove across town and stopped at one of his friends house where he and 3 of his boys came out and got in our 67 station-wagon and headed out for the hunt. I remember noticing Dad only had a couple guns and his buddy only brought 1?
When we arrived at the first field we finally found out our "assignments"... we were the freak'n dogs! Dad and his buddy dropped us off on a section and had us walk the cornfield rows 3 rows between us and told us to hot trot it to the other end where they would be waiting to the side and take the birds as the flew out the end. We would hear the shooting when were 3/4 of the way through and it would take all season before I ever saw a bird get shot.... they would limit out before we got all the way through.
The best part of the whole ordeal was when Dad and his Buddy would decide they needed a drink and we would stop at a little sleepy town and go to their greasy spoon bar that always had Hunters Specials, either breakfast or lunch. The food was good but the best part..... wait for it,

Shuffleboard, I'd finish my meal and took a look around and saw the big shuffleboard table and had to give it a try... I was a natural, I just had "that touch". Beat everyone I played at the bar, my brother and 2 of the other kids.

It stayed that way for the next several years till I was 10 or 11 and Dad let me carry the .410
AR, i'm
Having spent most of the first 35 years of my life in the Nebraska and/or Colorado, I grew up hunting upland birds. Easy access. Equipment was cheap. All you really needed was a shotgun and a good pair of boots. Public land was usually pretty close to wherever I lived and even in Colorado, I'd find birds most days. Maybe not a limit, but it was rare that I'd walk a field and not flush at least a few birds. Mostly pheasants, but occasionally a quail or two. Taking them home was another question, but even then, that wasn't really always the point. For years I mostly hunted alone, then I got to hunt over a great dog for the first time. He and I were frequent companions on weekends in the fall and winter and he seemed to enjoy the trips as much as I did. I don't think I understood how relaxing upland hunting was for me or how much I really enjoyed it until years later it wasn't an option, or at least hunting actual birds was more of a fantasy than reality.

Fast forward to 2002 and I'm living and working in Tennessee. I'd read story after story growing up about the clouds of quail in Tennessee, Virginia and the Carolina's. I knew pheasants were scarce, but it sounded like I could easily replace one bird for another. I was wrong. Now if you wanted to hunt farm raised birds on a game preserve, you could find and kill birds. That's never been my deal, so I walked a lot. So did my dog. We found a few coveys, but there were few and far between. Next stop was Virginia and again, no wild quail to speak of. Heard a few guys talk ruffed grouse up in the Virginia mountains, so my dog and I spent weekend after weekend looking for birds. Yeah, that was a fantasy too. I walked miles in miles in the Virginia mountains looking for ruffed grouse and found a few tracks, saw a few birds flush wild 50+ yards away, but never fired a shot.

So now I'm in South Carolina. Another upland wasteland and other than my infrequent trips to Western Kansas pheasant hunting, my memories and a few pictures are all that's left. The birdiest dog I've ever know, Chester, has been gone almost eight years now. I replaced him with more Brittany's, who're just as birdy, but are momma's couch dogs these days. They'll kill a dove in the back yard from time to time, but they don't have that intense need to chase a rooster in waist deep Big Blue Stem.

I wish I'd have appreciated my time out west in the corn fields, walking fence lines and slogging through cattails and hearing that rush of beating wings and that whistle when a rooster took to the air. It wasn't all about that, but those moments, mixed with the smell of the fields, the feel of the gun and the sound of my boots covering another mile stays with me.

What are your upland memories?
At 75 I'm still making memories. I still train field labs and get to hunt about 20-25 times/year. Limits are rare but its more about getting out and watching good dog work. However, I did get my very first triple last year; 3 birds in the air at the same time, 3 shots, 3 birds.

I got my first shotgun ( Steven's. 410 single) for my 11th bd. Been a Benelli M1 man for the last 25 years.
 
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Sandhills Husker

Red Shirt
5 Year Member
AR, i'm


At 75 I'm still making memories. I still train field labs and get hunt

about 20-25 times/year. Limits are rare but its more about getting out and watching good dog work. However, I did get my very first triple last year; 3 birds in the air at the same time, 3 shots, 3 birds.

I got my first shotgun ( Steven's. 410 single) for my 11th bd. Been a Benelli M1 man for the last 25 years.
Love the M1. Got it in a 20 gauge for my son when he turned 14. I have a Super Black Eagle II 12 gauge, but I really prefer that M1--best feel to a gun I've ever shot.
 

huskerman1

Scout Team
5 Year Member
Love the M1. Got it in a 20 gauge for my son when he turned 14. I have a Super Black Eagle II 12 gauge, but I really prefer that M1--best feel to a gun I've ever shot.
Main reason I bought the M1 is that in 1996, it was available with a 21" barrel. Since I am a pointer, not an aimer, it works perfectly for me, loaded with 1 1/4 oz of 7 1/2's and the cylinder choke. And don't let anyone tell you a 21" barrel won't shoot as far as a 28 or 30". NOT TRUE!
 
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DIHRDHskr

Red Shirt
5 Year Member
On a side note, might have seen my next gun purchase. Flipped through my monthly cabelas ad today. Browning A5 in a Sweet Sixteen. Almost needed a cigarette after seeing it. My dad has an original Sweet Sixteen that he was given when he started hunting in 1962. Still in hunting shape. May have to pick the new one up to pay homage to the old man.
I have an original Sweet Sixteen my Grand dad gave me in 65'. He taught me gun safety and I have eaten many a pheasant and duck delivered by that gun. What a nice gun.
 

2nd and 3

Recruit
Main reason I bought the M1 is that in 1996, it was available with a 21" barrel. Since I am a pointer, not an aimer, it works perfectly for me, loaded with 1 1/4 oz of 7 1/2's and the cylinder choke. And don't let anyone tell you a 21" barrel won't shoot as far as a 28 or 30". NOT TRUE!
I shoot a super black eagle 2 with a 24" barrel. Swings nicely and has killed many a game bird. Been starting to kick around the idea of the same gun in a 20 gauge. See what happens. Might have to take a serious look at that A5 in 16 gauge before I make any hasty decisions.
 

huskerman1

Scout Team
5 Year Member
I shoot a super black eagle 2 with a 24" barrel. Swings nicely and has killed many a game bird. Been starting to kick around the idea of the same gun in a 20 gauge. See what happens. Might have to take a serious look at that A5 in 16 gauge before I make any hasty decisions.
Just for conversation, what would happen if you were to run out of 16 ga shells during a hunt? Small town hardware stores and gas stations usually don't stock 16 ga shells. Besides, why give up the firepower of a 12?
 

2nd and 3

Recruit
Just for conversation, what would happen if you were to run out of 16 ga shells during a hunt? Small town hardware stores and gas stations usually don't stock 16 ga shells. Besides, why give up the firepower of a 12?
Have hunted pheasants for almost 30 years. Have never run out of shells on a hunt. So that would not worry me. Reason for the 16 would be sentimental more than anything. But the 16 is a pheasant killer, seen it first hand growing up.
 
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