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      WELCOME NEW UJ MEMBERS   06/25/2017

      It seems the word is out and UJ is enjoying a steady stream of newly Registered Members. Welcome to all of you, and we are all looking forward to your positive participation. I strongly suggest you review the Board Guidelines that have been in place since 2002. The most significant thing being that UJ is a NO POLITICS BOARD. LInk:  UJ BOARD GUIDELINES   Also UJ stays afloat mainly through Member Donations. Once a Donation is made you are placed in the Contributing Member Group with extra Priviliges. I am getting very few new Donations so hopefully this will spur that on a bit. Link:  New Members/Donations/Priviliges
jpari

Pheasant Hunting and Single Triggers

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Larry Brown

I've never seen anyone quantify just how long it takes to turn someone who's lucky to break mid-teens at skeet or trap into a good shot at 40-45 yards.  What's the cost, not just in terms of lessons, shells, targets, but also in terms of time?  A whole lot to consider there.

 

And if it takes an 8 pound gun to make clean kills at the ranges we're talking about . . .what's OK for a waterfowl hunter doesn't equal what's OK for a pheasant hunter.  Especially under current conditions, when we're walking a lot farther between chances than we were when they were killing 2 million birds a year in South Dakota.  I have no problem with a gun pushing 7 pounds for open country birds.  8?  No thanks.

 

Kerry, re your clay shooters who've never shot a bird . . . that means they haven't ever hunted.  And there's at least as much to learn about how to hunt as there is about how to shoot.  If said clay target hero is going to become a real hunter and he doesn't want to lean on the crutch of hunting only with a guide and the guide's dog, he's got a pretty significant learning curve.  What's good cover?  What's not?  What kind of dog do I need?  If I can't train it myself, how much is it going to cost me to buy one that's already trained?  How do I go about finding good places to hunt, and getting permission to hunt on private land?  All in all, I'd say there's one heckuva lot more involved in becoming a good hunter than there is in becoming a good shot at 40 yards plus.  You can do that on the range.  To learn to hunt wild birds, you need to go where they are and learn how to go about it.

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406dn

I think long time hunters have made their choice on a range of issues. Taking a crack at a 40ish yard bird with a gun, and load capable of reaching that far and more is not anything I'll ever second guess someone's decision to do or not. If only crack shots were allowed to hunt birds,,,, not many hunters would be left. 

 

There are many variables with every flush. A decision has to be made fairly quickly. Better to pass on some shots, but  range alone is not the only consideration. More than rarely, ruffed grouse hunters take shots that only offer a glimpse of the bird. They realize that the chance is fleeting and nothing ventured is nothing gained. Taking a forty yard shot at a rooster angling over stubble or other light cover is nothing to apologize for. If you hit it, you'll likely recover it and if you miss,,,no one hits them all.  

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Kemo Sabe
2 hours ago, Larry Brown said:

I've never seen anyone quantify just how long it takes to turn someone who's lucky to break mid-teens at skeet or trap into a good shot at 40-45 yards.  What's the cost, not just in terms of lessons, shells, targets, but also in terms of time?  A whole lot to consider there.

 

And if it takes an 8 pound gun to make clean kills at the ranges we're talking about . . .what's OK for a waterfowl hunter doesn't equal what's OK for a pheasant hunter.  Especially under current conditions, when we're walking a lot farther between chances than we were when they were killing 2 million birds a year in South Dakota.  I have no problem with a gun pushing 7 pounds for open country birds.  8?  No thanks.

 

Kerry, re your clay shooters who've never shot a bird . . . that means they haven't ever hunted.  And there's at least as much to learn about how to hunt as there is about how to shoot.  If said clay target hero is going to become a real hunter and he doesn't want to lean on the crutch of hunting only with a guide and the guide's dog, he's got a pretty significant learning curve.  What's good cover?  What's not?  What kind of dog do I need?  If I can't train it myself, how much is it going to cost me to buy one that's already trained?  How do I go about finding good places to hunt, and getting permission to hunt on private land?  All in all, I'd say there's one heckuva lot more involved in becoming a good hunter than there is in becoming a good shot at 40 yards plus.  You can do that on the range.  To learn to hunt wild birds, you need to go where they are and learn how to go about it.

 

Can't disagree much with what you've said in that third paragraph, Larry.  But I do think you need to keep in mind that some of todays "clay target heros" are much better shooters than most people away from the sport realize. They can do things with a shotgun that someone like yourself can't  even imagine. The real problem for them is fining the time and the right opportunity to hunt. Hitting a 35/40 yard pheasant isn't going to be difficult for them, and afterall, pheasant hunting isn't rocket science. Especially after one has a well trained dog. 

 

What you ask in the first paragraph is a bit confusing. I mean, if you've hung around any sporting clays ranges for a few years, you'd see that situation develope over and over again and again. It's reality. And many end becoming hunters as well. Certainly not cheap, but what hobby is any more? 

 

While I don't carry 8 pound 12 gauge shotguns for pheasants much any longer, but  I hunted with 8 pound 12 gauge Belgian Brownings and Winchester 101s for  many years, walking in rice stubble which is a lot harder than corn. Or roadside ditches.

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Kemo Sabe
17 minutes ago, 406dn said:

I think long time hunters have made their choice on a range of issues. Taking a crack at a 40ish yard bird with a gun, and load capable of reaching that far and more is not anything I'll ever second guess someone's decision to do or not. If only crack shots were allowed to hunt birds,,,, not many hunters would be left. 

 

There are many variables with every flush. A decision has to be made fairly quickly. Better to pass on some shots, but not range alone is not the only consideration. More than rarely, ruffed grouse hunters take shots that only offer a glimpse of the bird. They realize that the chance is fleeting and nothing ventured is nothing gained. Taking a forty yard shot at a rooster angling over stubble or other light cover is nothing to apologize for. If you hit it, you'll likely recover it and if you miss,,,no one hits them all.  

 

Excellent post!

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KerryLuft
1 hour ago, Larry Brown said:

Kerry, re your clay shooters who've never shot a bird . . . that means they haven't ever hunted.  And there's at least as much to learn about how to hunt as there is about how to shoot.  If said clay target hero is going to become a real hunter and he doesn't want to lean on the crutch of hunting only with a guide and the guide's dog, he's got a pretty significant learning curve.  What's good cover?  What's not?  What kind of dog do I need?  If I can't train it myself, how much is it going to cost me to buy one that's already trained?  How do I go about finding good places to hunt, and getting permission to hunt on private land?  All in all, I'd say there's one heckuva lot more involved in becoming a good hunter than there is in becoming a good shot at 40 yards plus.  You can do that on the range.  To learn to hunt wild birds, you need to go where they are and learn how to go about it.

 

Larry, I did not say a clay target shooter would become a great hunter.  I said they would SHOOT well on those birds, and I did not specify the distances.  As you say, there is a difference between shooting and hunting, and I would be the last to argue otherwise.

 

As for your question about how long to turn a mediocre shot into a good one?  Well, if the shooter is insufficiently motivated to become even passable at skeet, then I would say it can't be done, no more than you can take a guy who is happy jogging 12-minute miles and get him to run a 10-K in less than 45 minutes.   There are also a ton of other variables, not least is the amount of time and expense the person is willing to devote to it.  You might as well ask "how long is a piece of string?" The answer: As long as it needs to be.

 

But I have seen a handful of people who start out shooting in "D" class in registered sporting clays competition yet reach master class within two years.   The basic formula would be to shoot about 5K registered targets a year, about twice that in practice and lessons, and a two-hour lesson with a qualified instructor three or four times a year.  Not cheap by any means -- but neither is any other aspect of our related sports. Yet someone who follows that regimen and achieves that level will be far, far ahead of most in terms of shooting and when he or she chooses to start hunting.  If they shoot FITASC, which requires a low-gun start, that would be better yet.

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Kemo Sabe

Nice California wild rooster  taken with a 30 inch 12 gauge Winchester 101. No real trouble at all.

8569B2A9-0B07-4E3E-8D90-2F0FD11BC842.jpeg

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Kemo Sabe
On 12/5/2017 at 12:40 PM, Kemo Sabe said:

The point Larry -- which you mention -- is that if you have a load that  "will put 75% of its shot inside a 30" circle . . . through an IC choke at 40 yards! ", that's not an IC pattern, it's an extra-Full pattern.  

 

You mentioned "whether IC is enough at that range depends to a certain extent on ammo selection".  I think we all long ago agreed upon you can't really talk about  choke without including both the constriction and "what load" itself, and counting percentages in a 30 inch circle at 40 yards. Checkout Briley's "Chokes and Loads" video with Gil Ash.  

 

I'm currently testing Environmetal's new "HeviX"  steel loads for Tom, and it looks like I can get a IM/Light Full pattern (65 to 68%) from a .015 constriction. With a 9+cc density, it's pretty darn good stuff. 

 

You've said you don't do much 40 yard shooting yourself. Well, I do, and I can say without question at the 40 yard and beyond  distance, choke matters, whether you are achieving it from the muzzle constriction, the type of load, or both. 

 

I was rereading this thread, and noticed that I DID NOT mention that I'm using  20 gauge  and 20 gauge loads of HeviX. Thus, the .015 constriction is basically a Modified one for a 20 gauge to start out with.  

 

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salmontogue

It's a shame more O/U guns are not offered with double triggers. I have several superposeds with double triggers, both older guns.

 

Perk

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dogrunner

I don’t think about which trigger or choke I concentrate on the bird but then again I use more choke than most when hunting phez. 

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Jazz4Brazo

As I understand it...every choke has more or less the same "hot" core so if you can center the target (target being your POA...and you selected an appropriate POA for the task at hand) the put come will be the same...the difference in chokes then lies in the margin of error available which becomes increasingly difficult with increased distance...so if you select to shoot a tighter choke first on distant birds you have increased your margin or error which means you just need to be that much better if you poke at a distant bird with your second more open choke left.

 

Then again maybe I don't understand core choke patterns.

 

As for high quality FITASC or SC shooters moving to the field...the learning curve on shorter windows of opportunity to decide shouldn't be an issue for them given the high numerous of presentation S they see and successfully shoot every year...filed craft may take more of a learning but if afforded the right position/opportunity  to shoot I am sure they would outperform most "hunters" hands down. 

 

J4B 

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Larry Brown
On ‎12‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 11:23 AM, Kemo Sabe said:

 

Can't disagree much with what you've said in that third paragraph, Larry.  But I do think you need to keep in mind that some of todays "clay target heros" are much better shooters than most people away from the sport realize. They can do things with a shotgun that someone like yourself can't  even imagine. The real problem for them is fining the time and the right opportunity to hunt. Hitting a 35/40 yard pheasant isn't going to be difficult for them, and afterall, pheasant hunting isn't rocket science. Especially after one has a well trained dog. 

 

What you ask in the first paragraph is a bit confusing. I mean, if you've hung around any sporting clays ranges for a few years, you'd see that situation develope over and over again and again. It's reality. And many end becoming hunters as well. Certainly not cheap, but what hobby is any more? 

 

While I don't carry 8 pound 12 gauge shotguns for pheasants much any longer, but  I hunted with 8 pound 12 gauge Belgian Brownings and Winchester 101s for  many years, walking in rice stubble which is a lot harder than corn. Or roadside ditches.

Gary, your first paragraph seems to contain a certain amount of contradiction.  If your skilled clay target shooter has trouble "finding the time and the right opportunity to hunt", then how likely is he to have a well-trained dog?  I just took a quick look at the ATA website and learned that 60% of ATA members went hunting in the last year.  (Doesn't specify what KIND of hunting.)  That's at least 40% of several million target shooters who don't hunt birds.

 

Kerry was a little more specific in how long it takes to reach a particular level of skill.  If it's two years, and you're also starting from zero when it comes to hunting, then you've got a pretty long learning curve to become successful in both areas.  And if you get into bird dogs, then both are also time-consuming and expensive.

 

If you've spent a lot of time hunting corn for pheasants, then more than likely it's been on high dollar lodges in places like South Dakota where a lot of the pheasants were turned loose there . . . but not born there.  Or on private ground that's leased for pheasant hunting, so that the landowner has some incentive not to harvest it.  You're a few decades behind the pheasant hunting trends.  Hunting adjacent to cut corn can work well.  Hunting uncut corn . . . yeah, we did some of that when I was a kid.  That was when corn fields were a lot smaller on average, there were more weeds because farmers used less herbicide.  Those fields now might take up half a section or more, and the rows are "clean" enough that the birds have no incentive to do anything except run or flush wild.  No cover worth squatting in.  About the only uncut corn you're likely to do much good in, chasing wild pheasants, would be food plots on CRP ground.  They're usually pretty small.  They're bigger on those lodges because they "farm for pheasants" rather than to make a profit off the crops they grow.

 

Road ditches make a pleasant break from walking tougher cover--like heavy buffer strips along streams, wetlands, etc.  Or big CRP grass fields.  A nice place to work an old dog that can't handle the tough stuff any more.   And they can be productive . . . if you know which ones have the best possibility of holding birds, and how to tell those from the ones that will only result in a nice walk.  All part of the long process of educating a pheasant hunter.

 

Several years ago, I was on the annual Iowa Governor's Pheasant Hunt.  Usually about a dozen or so teams of 5 or 6 hunters.  A man I knew was teamed with a young lady named Haley.  During lunch, I asked him how things were going.  "Well," he said, "I got a couple, missed a couple.  But Haley missed a couple too!"  The Haley of whom we were speaking was Haley Dunn, who came within a couple targets of beating out Kim Rhode for the US Olympic Team.  I rather expect, at that level, that Haley was focusing a lot more on target shooting than anything else, and not doing a lot of hunting.  Maybe none.

 

These days, I shoot  more targets than I used to.  Skeet, 5 stand, sporting clays, very occasional trap.  And I don't shoot as many pheasants as I used to.  A lot of reasons:  The general decline in bird numbers and not living in pheasant country near the top of the list.  The result is, in spite of all the targets, I'll admit that I don't shoot pheasants as well as I used to.  And I don't have dogs as good as the ones I used to have.  They spend way more time (like I do) after the grouse and woodcock that live almost literally in my backyard . . . and that's not the same education my dogs used to get in how to handle wild ringnecks.

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Kemo Sabe

No contradictions at all, Larry. Many folks just buy a well trained dog to start out. And I learned years ago that the water ditches leading to the rice fields hold lots of pheasants. Doesn’t take beginning hunters long to figure that out, either.

 

With that said, I’m going to leave the rest of what you posted alone, and not get caught up in your mind-games. I’m perfectly happy with how and were I hunt and shoot, and have come to the conclusion that I really don’t care about what you think about anything.

 

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years.

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PartridgeCartridge
57 minutes ago, Kemo Sabe said:

No contradictions at all, Larry. Many folks just buy a well trained dog to start out. And I learned years ago that the water ditches leading to the rice fields hold lots of pheasants. Doesn’t take beginning hunters long to figure that out, either.

 

With that said, I’m going to leave the rest of what you posted alone, and not get caught up in your mind-games. I’m perfectly happy with how and were I hunt and shoot, and have come to the conclusion that I really don’t care about what you think about anything.

 

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years.

:ph34r: For a second I thought I logged onto the Shooting Sportsman.

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KerryLuft
2 hours ago, Larry Brown said:

The result is, in spite of all the targets, I'll admit that I don't shoot pheasants as well as I used to.  

 

It's just age catching up to you. B|

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TimJ

I do believe we are over thinking shooting pheasants. I don't think that hunting skills are necessarily pertinent to weather someone is a good game shot or not. It makes them a better hunter but as is clear from many hunting shows pheasant hunting has become a shooting game for many.

 

The one thing that does seem to be over looked is the affect a cackling gaudy bird can have on someone's ability to calmly shoot. I don't think it's a simple matter of being a good shot so you can then hit a bird that flushes from under your foot after walking a mile. There are a lot of uncontrolled variables involved in being a good shot on game. Some mediocre shooters can be very good game shots because they can stay calm and limit themselves. 

 

I'd say pass shooting doves and ducks from a blind are probably the easiest transition for a shooter. From the hunting I've done pheasants and quail are as much about staying calm as it is about being a good shot. I've never gotten an adrenalin rush from a trap thrower going off but I do all the time from a bird almost brushing my pant leg when it gets up. It take exposure to that to get use to it and even then I enjoy the fact that I still get flustered every once in a while by a flurry of wings. 

 

Tim

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