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Old November 14, 2018, 11:29 PM   #1
Join Date: May 30, 2016
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Pheasant hunting with poor vision

As I stated I have poor vision so I can not see the difference between a rooster and a hen. Most of the time this is ok because when I go with a friend they can call it but sometimes when no friends are available but I want to go I can’t because I don’t want to shoot a hen. Any suggestions? Anyone with a similar problem?
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Old November 15, 2018, 04:59 AM   #2
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Good question. Pheasants don't always give much of a chance to see. The color of their head and long tail feathers seems to be a giveaway. Also trying to remember if only males cackle. But then again they don't always do that when you put it up.
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Old November 15, 2018, 07:07 AM   #3
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I don't have that sort of vision problem but I/we used to wear "yellow" shooting glasses on dark, cloudy days to "brighten" the colors of the flushing birds.
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Old November 15, 2018, 09:19 AM   #4
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Try some enhanced glasses with planted birds and see how it goes.
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Old November 15, 2018, 09:27 AM   #5
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I've hunted Pheasants for half a century. Over that time I have had my own game farm license and raised Pheasants along with the helping of my local Sportsman's club raising Pheasants. I've yet to ever hear a hen cackle. But many times when flushing birds, hens come up with a cackling rooster, or the rooster, even tho it cackled, did not flush with the hens, instead it ran the corn rows and flushed farther down. So while cackling will tell you there is a rooster present, one still would need to identify the bird before pulling the trigger.

The OP does not tell where he is hunting, so knowing if there are other species available to hunt or if there is the option of shooting hens(Shooting preserves ans some public release areas around here allow it). My problem with the inability to identify a bird in flight, would also be the inability to identify something else downrange. While me loves to hunt, I would tend to give it up as opposed to just shooting "blind". While I love to hunt Pheasants, and nuttin' beats the sight of a long-tailed rooster flushing outta fresh fallen snow in front of a staunch point.....I also love to woodcock and grouse hunt. Both species where identifying the sec is not necessary.

My suggestion to the op would be to do what he is doing now. Go Pheasant hunting with a friend that can call out the sex, find another species to hunt or stay home. Sometimes, tho, just working one's dog, even without the option of shooting, is a sport into itself.
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Old November 16, 2018, 12:23 PM   #6
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When in doubt, let it pass

There are a lot of good tips in the previous replies and I only add that if in doubt, Let it pass. I too pay attention to the cackle and long tail feathers and most of the time, can see the head coloring and ring. I once shot a rooster that did not have any tail feathers to speak of and it didn't cackle but I could make out the coloring. It was a young rooster that had not feathered out completely. Don't know if I'd take that shot, today. …..

My buddy and I invited two friends from Alabama to an Iowa Pheasant hunt. We had to review how to tell the difference between a rooster a hen and if we flushed a hen, we would holler out "HEN". Anything else was fair game. Four in-line with the Alabama boys, in the middle. two roosters flushed up, along the line. Neither I or my buddy took the shot and the Alabama boys followed suit. Finally my buddy hollerd out; "SHOOT". Turns out that they held back because we didn't shoot. We were trying to be good hosts and this time it didn't work out ..

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Old November 17, 2018, 01:33 PM   #7
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Doesn't matter who cackles. You're not shooting at sounds.
You wearing prescription glasses? If not it sounds like you should be. You do not need separate shooting glasses either. Just get aviator style lenses that cover your whole eye and you'll be fine.
There a limit by the sex of the bird where you are?
"...this time it didn't work out..." S'why it's called hunting. It's also why a lot of us hunt. More about the time spent with two friends than filling the game bag.
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Old November 20, 2018, 09:24 AM   #8
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yup here in Iowa we are only allowed 3 roosters and glasses dont help but i like the suggestions sor far
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