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 Post subject: do you think this bird was dead
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:26 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:26 pm
Posts: 333
Lost a pheasant today I could've swore was dead. When I hit him all bodily function stopped, wings and legs tucked up tight against body and he looked like a football flying through the air until he slammed into the ground. When he hit there was no secondary bounce or rustling grass, everything was dead calm.
I ran over to the spot and could not find him and spent the next hour going back and forth over the area with no luck. Do you think he was dead and I just walked by him(numerous times)or maybe he ran off?

I'm starting to think that I should just not even waste my time going out until it snows since I don't have a dog.

 Post subject: Re: do you think this bird was dead
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:51 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:50 pm
Posts: 2495
Location: SE Ohio...where ruffed grouse were

Going to the "spot" is not always accurate....we more often estimate short rather than long in many covers.
And, pheasants scamper despite apparent bodily function cessation.

Dogless is ok, just runs a different set of requirements.
Still, tough to best a dog as a buddy.

 Post subject: Re: do you think this bird was dead
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:16 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:04 am
Posts: 2839
From your description, sure sounds dead in the air to me. If I were to wager, I`d bet that somehow you just missed him in your search. In certain types of cover, while we all should strive for a clean kill, for recovery it`s sometimes better if they move. Dogs are so valuable in just about all types of upland hunting.

Fabarm L4S Initial Hunter
Remington 870 Super Magnum Turkey
Remington V3 Walnut
Remington 870 Express (Realtree Xtra camo)

 Post subject: Re: do you think this bird was dead
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:30 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:28 am
Posts: 2074
Location: wyoming
I don’t think that is all that unusual with pheasants. I have had them fall like a rock and never find them even with a good dog. That is disgusting. Pheasants are a tough bird and they are escape artist as well as experts at hiding. That is why I use enough gun and practice on clays.

Anyone that has hunted them much has had some strange experiences with them. One time I put one that was stone dead in my son’s vest later it got out and flew off.

Every season I find dead pheasants that got away from someone. When my dog was young I shot at a pheasant, and plainly missed it, and watched it fly out of sight. The dog had a lot of confidence in my shooting, and took off to retrieve when I shot. She came back with a cold, dead, stiff pheasant that someone had shot and lost. I didn’t have the heart to drop it as she was so proud of her recovery. I carried it for awhile and discarded it when she was distracted.

Hunt on. Don’t be discouraged. A dog is a great partner, but not an absolute necessity. There have been times when I couldn’t have one, but that didn’t keep me from hunting.

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous , he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”— M.T.

 Post subject: Re: do you think this bird was dead
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2020 9:24 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 6:08 pm
Posts: 1807
Location: Minnesota
Been there and done that, with and without dogs. They are tough birds. My “guess” is it was not dead and ran off and hid.

 Post subject: Re: do you think this bird was dead
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2020 3:25 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5327
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
"Was this bird dead?" I don't know, but I do know a third possibility that might explain what happened to it. I have had game, including pheasant, stolen from me by predictors. I have seen otters take ducks shot by hunters, including me & they were suspect in the disappearance of a number of pheasant I shot. More recently, I had game disappear mysteriously. It was obviously being taken by a predator. I am not sure what it was to this day but I suspect it was a armadillo, aka: a hard shell possum. If I shot a squirrel & didn't retrieve it immediately, it would be gone when I went to get it. I would shoot a crow & see it fall dead & when I went to get it, it would be gone. A friend was watching me shoot crows. I made a particularly long shot & my friend (who wasn't shooting) walked over & kicked it! It was "grave yard dead". We walked over to where it fell a couple minutes later & it was gone! Believe me, it didn't leave under it's own power! All this happened in an area of about an acre!

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