I had a feeling that you would be able to put my poorly expressed thoughts together into coherent, concise prose. I'm not from a family with a great sporting tradition, nor have I the field experience of you nor many of the men here. I would have loved to hunt or fish with you or sweet and sour. We shot for the pot as a child, but I still remember the rules of those older fellows. Shoot cleanly, kill quickly, and dont forget that thing in your hand is beautiful and you killed it. Some of those men never fired a shot. They were there because they loved working their dogs and guns just got in the way.durangopipe wrote: ↑Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:29 pmThis. I’d only add that I prefer to hunt with people who treat every creature they hunt with respect and gratitude.hugodrax wrote: ↑Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:31 pmIt is categorically wrong to shoot at a roosting turkey or ground sluice a bird. Dont leave a 20 gauge shell in a 12 gauge barrel. Cover me twice and expect to be physically assaulted. Dont try to hit anyone with falling birds. Finger off the g-d trigger until you are ready to fire. Any man with brand new hunting clothes is the man I stand behind in the field. A man who comes out in blue jeans and a semi-auto duck gun knows his business. I may not say anything, but I'll cut you dead on the street if I see you beat your dog. Dont leave birds if you can find them.
These are the only things for me that are hard and fast rules.
A lot of territory covered in the last page or so!
Regarding Woodmont Lodge, I understand that “hunts” there are over pen-raised birds, hence, I suspect, hugo’s qualified use of the term. Perhaps the preference for rough hunting over driven birds (a shared preference) also contributes to the qualification.
I have never taken part in a driven shoot, but I was once invited to participate in a double gun tower shoot - a combination side-by-side gun event and a simulation of a driven shoot where hundreds of hard flying pheasants were launched from a high tower to simulate high, driven birds. It was just that, a shoot. Not a hunt. Dogs worked as retrievers only, not as pointing dogs. It was a slaughter.
I walked back to my rig after maybe a half hour or so and already an ungodly number of dead birds and sat with my dog until the shoot was over. The organizer gave a few of us permission to walk the surrounding fields with our dogs to hunt up birds that had escaped. My dog got some work. I got to do some hunting. And we were much happier off alone together.
Depending on the facilities where the birds are raised, pen raised birds - as you know - can be quite disappointing or pretty wild seeming. Given the loss of habitat we’re facing, sadly, pen-raised birds will be all some bird hunters will ever know.
It would be great to get a report after the shoot, hugo.
My understanding is that Woodmont was all private until the land was donated to the state under a complex agreement that involves private club use during part of the year with public access during other times and different rules on different parts of the property. I’ve never been there, but I’ve seen pictures of the clubhouse and it looks absolutely beautiful.
As far as gun dogs and critters you're not hunting . . .
My experience with my own dogs is limited to English setters, but I’ve hunted upland over a fair number of friend’s pointers, shorthairs, Brittanies, a Spinone and one pointing yellow lab! I’m probably forgetting a dog or two.
In my experience regarding that particular behavior some is a consequence of breed and some of it the individual dog. My dogs only very rarely pointed tweetie birds if we were hunting and there were game birds around. When they’re playing in the yard at home and not hunting they point tweeties all the time. They seem to know what’s expected of them on a hunt. I had one setter that pointed a few tweeties early on, but after being called off rarely pointed them again while hunting.
Although I always thought I would very much like to learn the ways of woodcock and see my dogs work them, I’ve never had the opportunity.
You really hit the nail on the head regarding my hesitation. This isnt really a hunt. We are paying for exclusivity, and not even to get genuine exclusivity. It's a service, and like any service, they're paid to provide the experience. And that means a big bag, not necessarily good sport. The lodge cant afford for a guest to get skunked, after all, even though that's part of authentic hunting. I checked the guest list and I know many of the men. Two confirmed bird hogs, one money mouth, and 6 good guys. That leaves three question marks. I'm sure it will be fun, but I know I'm larping this time.
And driven birds are like a pigeon shoot. Scoring. Not a whit of care for all those dead birds off to a homeless shelter. How many did you get? Misses become shameful. 100 shells, 60 birds. Care for a cigar?
I read an interesting piece the other day that suggested the driven shoot didnt become popular until the invention of the ejector, which is a very interesting theory. In the days of the wheel lock you didnt have a prayer of hitting a bird on the wing, and so they sluiced them. With the flintlock came wildfowling and some walked up shooting, but even those didnt really come into their own before tube locks and percussion caps. And with non ejecting guns, you simply couldn't fire fast enough. I dont know how much I buy that, given the fact Lord Ripon could shoot as quickly and as well as he did with hammer guns and loaders, but it is a charming idea.
Never managed to say anything about thunk's bunny, but that's hunting done right. Cleanly killed and cooked with care and eaten by an excited kid. Only way that gets better is if his son shot it.
As an aside, I forgot to add one more pet peeve to the list. I cant bear to watch a man spin a wounded bird to break its neck. Last thing that poor thing needs is to die dizzy. Carry a priest and make it quick. Feel a little guilty. Besides, a grown man doing the fan dance with a seven pound bird looks ridiculous.