What types of birds without a dog

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by hikepat, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Kind of new to hunting sports and do not have a dog and not enough time for its training anyways to be fair to the dog since I work 5 days a week 11 hours plus commute per day. Are there types of bird that can be hunted with at least reasonable hope without a dog other then Turkey? I am guessing ducks could be hunted with the use of my kayak to make the retrieve but I looking more for advice on hunting upland type birds. What general parts of the state would I go to do so?
  2. I've done grouse and dove hunting without a dog, in eastern WA. I know some guys do OK grouse hunting on the west side - but I have not done enough leg work to find any good spots. Good luck.
  3. Hey Patrick,

    In my opinion grouse, ducks, and geese may be hunted successfully w/o a dog.

    I've done a fair amount of grouse, duck, and goose hunting w/o a dog over the years. I've owned and trained Setters, Labs, and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. In my opinion it's far more enjoyable - as well as more ethical due to the greater percentage of downed birds recovered w/ the help of a well trained dog - to hunt over or behind a well trained gun dog. I've referenced "well trained" intentionally. I, and many others who've chased birds for any length of time, have hunted behind poorly trained dogs and I'd rather bust my own brush and find my own downed birds than engage in the utter frustration of hunting over or behind a dog that's not up to the task for one reason or another. Two hunters without a dog can have more success than one, two, or thee hunters behind an untrained or poorly trained bird dog or retriever.

    My Chessie went East w/ my wife and kids, so I am w/o a canine partner for the upcoming season. I've gotten myself a German Wirehaired Pointer pup, but he'll be of little use for most or all of this season so I'll be walking them up myself. PM me if you'd care to come with. By the end of the season you'll be looking for your own bird dog or retriever. : )

    I'd be interested to know if anyone has had much success hunting chukar w/o a dog. Is it possible?

  4. When I was a young man (kid) I didn't have a dog, none of my buddies had dogs.
    We did O.K. and I don't really remember loosing many birds.
    Quail were always the hardest to find.
    One of my buddies had a neighbor that had a poodle and we would snag the poodle and take it when we hunted a farm that had a deep creek. the poodle would get down in the creek to get all mucked out and the roosters would come boiling out, well the little dog would go crazy running up and down the creek and if we didn't get limits it was because our shooting was off.
    The neighbor could not figure out how her little dog would get so mucked out:hmmm:
    We would also go to the dog pound and get what ever looked like a bird dog then take them back at the end of the day if they didn't run away.
    We were some smart kids (not).
    I find it hard to live without a bird dog.
    Last nite someone tried to come in the yard, well let's just say they tried. The girls sent'em packin.
    ? about hunting chucker w/o dog.
    I ran into a guy some years ago on the Swakcane (sp). He had one chuck in the bag and told me he had killed three.
    There was about 5 or 6" of snow.
    I told him I was willing to back track with my dogs to find his downed birds, he said naaaa
    and went about climbing the ridge.
    Well I backed tracked and we found his birds (one stuck in a bush the other under the snow) and killed a couple more, not bad, four chucks with two shots.
    Having the nose that knows is key.
  5. The other day I told someone that if I didn't have my dog I would give up bird hunting. For me bird hunting is about 90% dog work and 10% shooting. If I was really hot to hunt, then grouse is the one to hunt. Also, 2-4" of new snow makes it feasable to hunt almost any upland bird as they put down fresh tracks you can follow and they hold much tighter. I LOVE hunting pheasants in fresh snow-that riot of color thrashing up through the powdery snow is just so awesome! rick
  6. If I were new to hunting I would join whatever organizations I could (PF, DU, etc) and also a dog organization (Wash. Retriever, so on.). I'd talk to people, network, learn all I could. I'd get a dog and then get with a trainer to teach ME what to do. I'd volunteer to work at field trials and hunt tests. I'd get involved. These are all things that I did. I met me hunting partners this way, learned new places to hunt, and now have a great dog to hunt with.

    I agree with other posts: once you have a four-legged hunting partner the hunting experience enjoyment increases 100 fold as does the success. I don't ever plan to hunt without a dog again. I feel very sorry for those who live in places that prevent them from having a hunting dog. I couldn't do it.
  7. I'm not bragging but I've never lost a bird or a waterfowl, and I've never hunted with a dog. I just pay a lot of attention to where they land, then track them if they're not fully dead and are moving. Pretty simple really. To me anyway, but I'm young (only 42) can move a little easier than some older fellas can.
  8. All through college I hunted without a dog in the midwest...nothing! Waterfowl are possible, I'd say grouse are, but as a few have pointed out the trick isn't the 'locating to shoot', but more or less the 'retrieve.' Hence why Retrievers rule :thumb:...kidding of course.

    If you're hunting solo I'd try the following:
    - Walk slower and not in a direct line, pull a "crazy Ivan" every once and a while.
    - Pause...causes any birds that are near to panic and flush
    - Kick bushes and clumps of grass that look birdy
    - Hunt after a dusting of snow...easy to track
    - Use an object that can be thrown to the area that you have seen a shot bird land into...also use a hat to mark the spot you shot from so you can retrace/replay the shot in your mind. Don't give up! (even with my dog I threw my hat to mark a grouse that just as my dog was bringing me another one flushed...instead of trying to stuff it in my pack and lose sight of where the grouse went I threw my hat down and moved on with Libby)
    - If you flush more than one shoot only one...shooting two and finding one gets you nowhere.
    -Early bird gets the worm...start early when they are out and typically not hunkered down.
  9. Hi there koolminx.
    I'm going to have to put on my hip boots, cause BS is getting deep here.
    I know your not bragging, just trolling.
    If ya don't hunt, ya don't lose game.
    Keep up the good posts, gives me something to laugh at.:thumb:
  10. In college and before my adult life was stable enough for a dog, I hunted ducks, pheasant, chuckar, huns, quail and grouse without. It can all be done, but it's a lot harder and less rewarding without a four legged, non-complaining partner along for the fun.
  11. you can hunt any bird without a dog. you just have to be careful with your shots. IE dont shoot ducks over open water unless you like to swim. don't shoot at anything your know you can hit solidly . and don't get carried away, if you drop a bird, drop what your doing and go find it, don't try for doubles unless its in an area that has little to no cover.

    a good bird dog is the best conservation tool anyone could use.
  12. I hunt grouse without a dog (well, I sometimes take my beagle but he is next to worthless as a bird dog). I primarily shoot at non-flushing birds that are stationary. Now a lot of people will tell you that my hunting practice is very un-sportsmanlike, and in most instances I would agree. However, the way I get around that ethical dilemma is that I hunt with a bow. When hunting grouse using archery equipment a dog is just a hinderance since even the best of archers find it difficult, to say the very least, to successfully shoot a flushing grouse. In fact a dogless hunter with a shotgun has a decided advantage over a bowhunter. Even so, there are plenty of traditional bowhunters out there that will tell you that successfully taking a grouse with stick and string has a sense of satisfaction akin to taking a fish with a fly. In my book there's nothing like stalking grouse with a longbow or recurve.
  13. Grouse can duck the string just like deer.
    A true challenge, but do able.
  14. iagreeiagreeiagree longbows, selfbows, and recurves are where its at! and make for a super fun grouse outing.
    i wish i still had all my archery equipment otherwise i wouldn't be messing with humpys right now
  15. Here's a pic of my grouse outfit:

  16. is that a blacktail recurve?
  17. Any type of game can be hunted without a dog, it is just up to the hunter to know their limits and make sure that they are not reckless in their shot choice.
    Ducks and geese are obvious choices over decoys and shallow water, although i know people do use rods/reels to cast big lures over their birds and retrieve them in deeper water.
    For upland hunting if you are hunting alone it will be much tougher than if hunting with another person. Chukars and Pheasants would be the birds of choice if i were going upland hunting without a dog. Usually you can find them in narrow strips of cover and they are pretty flighty so they will flush without the aid of a dog. Quail are generally in areas that are brushier and make retrival a problem. In fact i would rather hunt chukars without a dog than with one that is poorly trained. I use my dog for retrival 90% of the time when hunting chukars. She does help scent some birds but mostly she is right by my side. When i was guiding i cant tell you how many guys wanted to frown upon my lab's ability to hunt chukar and would unleash their pointers. A great pointer is a very fine hunting dog i am sure, but i have yet to see a great one. But i digress..
    The number one rule is to make sure you mark where your bird falls. Go immeadiately to the area and drop your hat or pack. work downhill from their and look for feathers. Chukars especially, can roll a long ways.
    Good luck.
  18. iagreeiagreeiagree
  19. Yes, it is. Yew limbs, cocobolo riser footed with ebony. Norm is an artist.
  20. I field hunt geese without a dog. I go to work without my dog. I do lots of things without my dog.

    Mostly I spend a lot of thought trying to figure out how to do everything with my dog.

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