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DaveInPA
March 31, 2008, 08:21 PM
Are there any birds found in Pennsylvania that can be successfully hunted without a dog? I have a Siberian Husky and a Boston Terrier, neither exactly a bird dog.

Thanks
Dave

Mainah
March 31, 2008, 10:11 PM
I've hunted grouse up here without dogs, and of course you've got plenty of turkey in PA.

jrothWA
March 31, 2008, 11:34 PM
move slowly and head for thick cover.
Don't push hard after a flush you may get a second ride about 50yds away.

roy reali
March 31, 2008, 11:42 PM
Unethical.

predator86
April 1, 2008, 12:34 AM
i hunt without a dog.....its the same as fishing without a boat, you are still fishing, you may catch just as many from the shore or you might not.

i hunt pheasants without a dog, i just walk the fencelines and kick them up, they practicaly wait till i step on them!! only bad part is that you are your own retreiver.....but you only pick the ticks off of yourself...



roy-why is it unethical?? are you the guy that gets offended when somebody catches a trout with a worm vs. a fly? do your feathers get ruffled when somebody brings a tacticool shotgun to shoot clays? does it really bother you if they actually hit them?

there is no reason that hunting without a dog is unethical, dont be snobby, it makes hunters look bad.

hoytinak
April 1, 2008, 12:44 AM
Unethical.

I'd like to know why you think that also. As long as you're kicking them up and not shooting them on the ground.

I hunt quail and pheasant all the time by myself, just walking the fence and field lines.

DonR101395
April 1, 2008, 12:47 AM
Unethical.

Kinda curious about that too. I've never hunted with a dog when I hunt by myself. I've flushed plenty of birds.

roy reali
April 1, 2008, 12:54 AM
I am refering to mainly small upland birds like quail. I have shot them and had them land God knows where. I would never, ever have found the bird. If it was wounded I couldn't finish it off, Either way, meat would have been wasted.

My dog has found 99.9% of the birds I have shot. I have no idea how she found some of the birds as they landed in brush that was all but impossible to penetrate. Or they landed in high grass that would have made looking for the needle in the haystack a picnic in comparrison.

I suppose on larger birds where finding a cripple should be easy then hunting without a dog, is OK, I suppose. But I do think that hunting the smaller species without a dog is unehtical. I do believe hunting dogs are a great conservaton tool. After all, an ethical hunter will do everything he or she can to retrieve downed game, even if one has to use a dog.

Stiofan
April 1, 2008, 01:00 AM
I've hunted for 30+ years in So Cal without a dog for quail, and don't remember ever not finding my birds. I do watch where they fall, and normally don't take doubles.

More hunting has been done without dogs in this country than with. I don't think I'm much out of step with prior generations in quail hunting either.

hoytinak
April 1, 2008, 01:00 AM
I can see where you're coming from, to a point. But alot of that depends on the type of terrain you're hunting on. Where I hunt it's all flat farm land with really nothing on it...no trees, no tall grass. I've been able to see where every bird I've shot has landed so I'm not too worried.

DonR101395
April 1, 2008, 01:01 AM
I can see that side of the argument Roy. I can honestly say I'm 41 this year and been hunting since I was 9 and have never knowingly left game in the field, but I have come home with less than my limit because I spent 2 hours looking for a bird. A needle in a hay stack is an understatement.

roy reali
April 1, 2008, 01:04 AM
Some of you must have better eyesight then me. I have been out with other hunters and multiple dogs. Sometimes it takes a spell to find a downed quail with two or three dogs helping.

Read what professonal bird hunters have to say on this subject. Read what Young, O'Williams and had others have to say.

I do believe dogs are a great conservation tool.

I also suppose none of you have knocked a pheasant down only to have it make out like the roadrunner. How do you catch those wounded runners wihtout a dog? I suppose some of you are marathon runners and have never had a pheasant outrun you.

What to you do about ducks that fall to far out to wade or swim if you don't have a boat? Do you hope for a favorable tide?

Yes, bird hunting can be done without a dog? I prefer with a dog. Part of the reason is the fun, part of it as responsibility to the birds I may hit.

DonR101395
April 1, 2008, 01:14 AM
I also suppose none of you have knocked a pheasant down only to have make out like the roadrunner. How do you catch those wounded runners wihtout a dog? I suppose some of you are marathon runners and have never had a pheasant outrun you.


Most of my pheasant hunting has been in southern MI. When they bolt on you they run right down the rows and if they make it to the end they hold up in the woodline separating the fields.They aren't difficult to find at all.
The only place I've ever had a difficult time finding birds on occasion was when I lived in Spokane and hunted grouse in the mountains. I found them, but it wasn't always easy. You just had to limit yourself to singles and pay attention.

roy reali
April 1, 2008, 01:28 AM
Be honest, have you found every bird you have downed? If you have then you are a true sportsman. I have seen may nondog hnters leave unfound birds behind. To me that is a sin.

predator86
April 1, 2008, 04:46 AM
a dog would be nice but not everybody can afford a decent shotgun, not to mention a 300 dollar bird dog (keeping it cheep, i know the current dog prices), a kennel, shots, food, time spent with it ect.ect.ect.

getting a dog is kinda like having another kid with all the expenses but just because you dont have a dog doesnt mean you cant hunt.........i think it is more unethical to push your ethics on to somebody else, which is why i dont do that.

roy reali
April 1, 2008, 07:33 AM
My ethics?

A person goes hunting for quail in an area with lots and lots of thick brush and heavy vegetation. The stuff is so thick that it is near imposasible to walk. When a covey is busted, you are lucky to glimpse a flying bird, much less get a chance to shoot one. But you get lucky and tag one. You see it fall behind some bushes. You walk over in that area and you can't even see the bare ground because of the grasses. You have no way of finding that bird. You don't know if you've just clipped a wing and the bird is alive and suffering.

Call your dog over, nothing can hide from his nose. But wait, you don't have a dog. Oh well, it was only a bird and some predator or scavenger will have a meal.

This should be unethical in everyone's book.

lon371
April 1, 2008, 07:42 AM
"A person goes hunting for quail in an area with lots and lots of thick brush and heavy vegetation. The stuff is so thick that it is near imposasible to walk. When a covey is busted, you are lucky to glimpse a flying bird, much less get a chance to shoot one. But you get lucky and tag one"

"This should be unethical in everyone's book"

Why would you take that shot? Hoping you would get lucky?

Pilot
April 1, 2008, 07:51 AM
I bird hunt with my German Shorthaired pointer, but I have no problem with bird hunting without a dog.

roy reali
April 1, 2008, 07:55 AM
Good question.

Even with a dog I pass on shots. I will not shoot at a bird that might land in some thick berry brush, My dog won't go in there. That would be waste of a natural resource.

I know our Fish and Game frowns on this. I know that if someone is shooting waterfowl that is landing in the middle of a pond without any method for recovery they will levy a fine.

Mr. Pilot
You have no problem with folks hunting and not recovering their game?

Pilot
April 1, 2008, 08:24 AM
Mr. Pilot
You have no problem with folks hunting and not recovering their game?

Not at all, but I would ask them to exercise good judgment about the terrain and probability of game recovery. As someone else said, we pass up shots if we don't think the game is recoverable, even with a dog. Fortunately with a GSP there is not much brush they can't get through. They are relentless.

dustoff
April 1, 2008, 08:53 AM
Wow, there is alot of arguing and very few answers to Dave's question. Dave if you want to do some bird hunting find out where the PGC stocks phesant in your area. You can get this info from their website. If you get a couple buddies together and push the stocked fields you will get some flushes. Don't be suprised if you run into other hunters doing the same thing. A dog is nice to have but not absolutely necessary. Grouse can also be hunted without a dog but I have not had much sucess at it. If you get a good group of buddies out there with you it won't even matter if you see any birds. The fun is in the hunt not the bagged game. If you want to try your hand over a dog, go to one of the many game farms and shoot some of their stocked birds. I have been to a couple and they were all good fun. Good luck.

fbrown333@suddenlink
April 1, 2008, 09:02 AM
I hunt with out a dog. have I lost bird? (yes a few over the years) do I think it is un ethical (NO, not when you spend an hour or two looking for them and then count that bird in you limit for the day). just my .02

Hedley
April 1, 2008, 09:08 AM
Hunting with my young lab is kinda like hunting without a dog. :D

Just do what my dad did: Have your son fetch them.

roy reali
April 1, 2008, 11:27 AM
Billy Bob decides to take up duck hunting. He purchases the required licenses and tags. He buys the shells. He even practices enough to become a good shot. Now the big day arrives.

He postions himself on the edge of a large, deep body of water. He found a perfect spot because the ducks are coming are arriving in squadrons. He is a good shot and in no time he knocks down his limit. However, every bird lands a good thirty yards in the out in the water.

He has no dog, no boat, no way to retrieve the birds. He was hopping the birds landed where he could get them. As usual, mother nature did not cooperate.

Is this ethical behavior?

DaveInPA
April 1, 2008, 11:43 AM
No roy, it's not. That's why I asked if there were any birds I could hunt without a dog. I wanted to see if I could take any birds ethically and effectively without a dog. I've gotten a few answers, but mostly I've just started an argument. A mod can feel free to lock this one up whenever. :rolleyes:

Stiofan
April 1, 2008, 11:49 AM
Don't assume everyone is a Billy Bob.

As I've said, I've hunted for over 30 years. When I hunt waterfowl, it's always over a pond I can wade, or I have my small duck boat with me. I can't ever remember losing one I've downed.

You're really making some assumptions to try and put yourself on some hunting ethical pedestal. Sorry, I'm not buying.

Bottom line, if I'm not reasonably sure I can recover, I don't take the shot. That has nothing to do with only those who own dogs can hunt mentality you seem to be putting out.

DonR101395
April 1, 2008, 12:58 PM
Be honest, have you found every bird you have downed? If you have then you are a true sportsman. I have seen may nondog hnters leave unfound birds behind. To me that is a sin.

Yes I've recovered everything I've ever shot with the exception of the first deer I shot at the age of 12. We tracked it for 5 hours after I wounded it and returned the next day at day break and searched until lunch with no luck. It stuck pretty hard in my head that I wounded it and it would probably die a not so easy death and the meat would go to waste.
I'm not some uber-sportsman I just prefer to limit my shots based on the limitations I place on myself i.e. no dog. I also don't fish with ultra light tackle simply because I've seen too many guys break the line and leave a fish to die, while they tie another lure on their 2lb line and try to catch a 6lb bass. I don't hunt or fish as much these days as I used to, but when I do it's for table fare not for the sport.





Edit: I won't bash someone who loses game, unless it's the rule rather than the exception.

UniversalFrost
April 1, 2008, 01:29 PM
sure I hunt without a dog, but I prefer to have my dogs along.

I grew up in pheasant country so I can pretty well walk a field and know when and where to be after the initial walk through ( you would be suprised how many birds are left in a field that folks walk through without a dog).

When it comes to retrieving birds that are down it really depends on the terrain and the type of bird. Grouse in tall brush can be a trick to find, but I make sure to locate them and will not continue the hunt until located.

when duck hunting I like to "jump" small stock ponds and I make sure to have a set of waders and a tube with me just in case I get one that lands way out in the middle. even had to strip down to my long johns and swim out in freezing water to get one once when I forgot to pack a tube.

I mainly hunt with my lab's, so I feel sorry for those that don't have a good dog. If you can't have a dog due to size I would look into a britney or other spaniel, who are smaller than the labs, retreivers, etc.... and can also be excellent field and water dogs (had a friend who had a cocker spaniel that was one of the best little pointer/retrievers out there and would even drag back a giant canadian larger than it on occasion).

roy reali
April 1, 2008, 02:38 PM
Some of you must have better reflexes then me. Where I have hunted quail they only offer a small window of opportunity to shoot. If I had to ponder for just a second weather any given bird would fall into an area that I could easily find it, then that bird is long gone. Or maybe I hunt in much thicker cover then others.

DonR101395
April 1, 2008, 03:18 PM
Or maybe I hunt in much thicker cover then others.


That would be my guess.

Most of my hunting is done in cornfields at the end of harvest. Thick cover for me is hunting along the power lines with wood on both sides.

ELMOUSMC
April 1, 2008, 03:48 PM
I hunt Pheasant,Quail and Partridge if the feral cats haven't gotten them all.Some days I take my dogs a GSP and a Smooth coated Retriever they are great companions.Some days I grab my old Mossberg and just go wandering around the farms and bottoms where I live and the dogs stay home.I have varying sucess sometimes I get birds and sometime the birds get me but it is all good.If you have a dog great if you don't so what a nice slow ramble down fence rows or in the ditches along the gravel roads can produce all the wing shooting you could want enjoy your time out and don't worry about the ethics of dog VS no dog good luck and good shooting ELMOUSMC

roy reali
April 1, 2008, 06:16 PM
I guess some of you hunt Bobwhite Quail. I have mostly hunted California Valley Quail. I guess they inhabit different types of cover. The birds I have hunted inhabit very thick brush. Humanly impossible to penetrate.