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Old December 27, 2010, 01:04 PM   #1
huntingwithdaughters
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Why Pheasants Run

December 27, 2010. I am now in my 4th week, laid up with a broken leg. With bird hunting season shot to hell, and my Lab lying next to me on the bed dreaming of her next meal, my mind runs in many directions. A piece in the New York Times of a pre-historic chicken is enough to set me off. Those of you who have been afflicted by runners in a cornfield will rise and take notice. Your dog gets birdy, and starts making that peculiar sound that is a cross between biting and sneezing, as if the dog were eating corn on the cob and taking snuff at the same time. Then, following a scent trail, the dog begins to inscribe the wildest possible calligraphic fantasies across the landscape. You get to the end of the field and often as not, the trail is dead. How did the pheasant learn this skullduggery and subterfuge, you may well ask? From the dinosaurs. The pheasant is an import from China and a direct descendent of Caudipteryx.

Caudipteryx, which means tail feather in Latin, was first dug up in the Liaoning Province, northeastern China in 1997. They are a sub order of the theropods which means beast feet. Anyone familiar with the evil mindedness of pheasants will achieve immediate satori when they learn that these ancestors were mainly nasty meat eaters. Theropods first appeared during the Carnian age of the late Triassic period about 230 million years ago.

Caudipteryx, like many other maniraptorans (hand snatchers), is a sneaky mix of reptile- and bird. Caudipteryx has a short tail stiffened toward the tip, with few vertebrae, like in birds and other oviraptorosaurs (egg thief lizzards.) It has a hand skeleton with a reduced third finger, used then as now for giving the finger to its pursuers.

Because Caudipteryx has the contour feathers of modern birds, and because several scientific studies have determined it to be a flightless dinosaur, it gives the strongest proof that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Prof. Lawrence Witmer stated: “The presence of unambiguous feathers in an unambiguously nonavian theropod has the rhetorical impact of an atomic bomb, rendering any doubt about the theropod relationships of birds ludicrous.”

Lest these sneaky chickens regain their pre-historic strength, rise to a height of fifty feet and take over the earth, you are advised to shoot the miscreants on sight, without hesitation. Recipies to remove the bitterness you may have felt during their pursuit can be found on subsequent pages.
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Old December 27, 2010, 01:23 PM   #2
.284
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Dude.........you have cabin fever.......bad. That was very entertaining, especially the giving the finger part.
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Old December 27, 2010, 01:27 PM   #3
egor20
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+1
Great post

The Nuns and Priests that taught me would be proud, I didn't even have to look up Caudipteryx
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Old December 27, 2010, 04:59 PM   #4
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Weird you should post that. Last night I was watching some Public Television and there was a scientist on that was attempting to de-evolve chickens into dinosaurs. Anyway, be glad if you have birds that still run. I quit pheasant hunting years ago when all the wild ones died out in Pa. The birds the Game Commission stocks are to stupid to fly into a woodlot with out hitting the trees. True story.
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Old December 27, 2010, 07:59 PM   #5
Pahoo
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Pheasants are fun to hunt because they are too unpredictable. They will hold and fly for fox and yotes. They tried that trick on hunters and got their tails shot off. Now, for hunters, they evolved to run, hold and dodge or as soon as you cross a fenceline they just get up and fly. The young on opening weekend, get weaded out fast. The older ones learn fast what a man with a gun looks like and these are the ones that will test you and your dog. There is nothng like hunting behind a good dog. It's sheer poetry ....



Be Safe !!!
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Old December 28, 2010, 03:03 PM   #6
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Dang, All This Time....

...I thought it was because they could.
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Old December 28, 2010, 03:23 PM   #7
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You Mean This?



It resides in my billiards room
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Old December 29, 2010, 01:21 AM   #8
40s-and-wfan
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I hate the fact that they run more often than not and don't fly. I won't shoot one on the ground. I told my wife the other day that I think they're related to the Roadrunner in some way or another... Just my opinion. Pheasants can sure run like hell!
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Old December 29, 2010, 04:50 AM   #9
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Exellent post...............................

Poe too did some of his best work while on pain medication!
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Old December 29, 2010, 12:58 PM   #10
Pahoo
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Not only can they run !!!
They dodge, hide, back-track, flush up between your legs and play the wind. When they flush, they make one heck of a noise and as they fly away, they will kackle/crow at you. Love to hunt them, especially the "long-Spurs" ...

Try this shot. Pheasant flushes up a foot on front of you, against the wind. Then hangs there while you are leading with your first shot. Does a 180, catches the wind while you take your second and third shot. No time for a fourth shot. Bye, Bye !!! .....

Now, flushing up between your legs is a real treat. They explode straight up, out of the cover and by the time you regain your balance, it's too late. Bye, Bye !!...


Be Safe !!!!

Last edited by Pahoo; December 29, 2010 at 01:13 PM.
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Old December 29, 2010, 02:45 PM   #11
woodguru
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Try pheasant hunting without a dog, you get way less shots because they will hold tight and let you walk right by. When you do shoot birds you'll lose over half that are brought down because they run like friggin jack rabbits.
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Old December 29, 2010, 03:16 PM   #12
40s-and-wfan
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Woodguru,
I did that just this fall. My 9-year old son put up two pheasant in the same day. I shot one and it went down, I think I just scared the heck out of it. After looking for it for over two hours I called my wife and had her bring our German Shorthaired Pointer pup out to see if he could hit on anything. We did that for another 2+ hours and didn't come up with anything. I was frustrated and felt defeated. I hated the idea of leaving a potentially injured bird in the field like that.
Our GSP pup had some training at the time and we thought he might be able to help but didn't have much luck at the time. Talk about feeling miserable!!
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Old December 29, 2010, 03:31 PM   #13
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Ha!

I remember (sort of) most of this from a science fair project I did in grade school. The subject was pheasants, and I made a whopping great cardboard display with all the information I could find, of which the dinosaur-bird stuff was my favorite.

I have never looked at a pheasant the same way since.
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Old December 29, 2010, 03:59 PM   #14
woodguru
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If those bird dinosaur things were alive today we'd be doin a different kind of hunting boys.

We'd be using OO Buck explosive rounds, the discussions would be about "are 00 Buck Explosive rounds enough?"

Our dogs would look like Fila Brasilieros (160 pound jaguar dogs)

And we'd want armor protective gear for when we wounded one (no joking matter there).

Getting home we'd tell the wife whether or not anyone got hurt.
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Old December 31, 2010, 01:03 AM   #15
Fat White Boy
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My hunting buddy figured out why pheasants run. When they are hunted, the ones that fly get shot. While the flying birds are being shot, the runners get away. After a while, there were more runners breeding than flyers. Ergo, more runners are born...
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Old December 31, 2010, 02:18 AM   #16
James H
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The last time I pheasant hunted, one of our group had a middle aged lab. The dog still flushed birds, but damned if he would ever retrieve one. He got mauled during his first year as a pup hunting pheasants. A rooster scarred his face with one of its spurs. Those things will run, fight, and claw themselves out of a bad situation.
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