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What is the general thought about preserves?I have found them useful for training my dog, getting him on many birds, and in several cases, down right fun.While I don't like the thought of hunting "planted" birds, many public hunting areas are stocked too.I have found that the pheasants hold more on a preserve and are perhaps an easier target.Yesterday, I hunted chukars on a preserve. The birds weren't planted, they were just released in a gully and flew as a covey to a ridge. I had to hunt the covey from there. They too, probably held tighter than wild birds but flushed like rockets; were fun to shoot, and provided my dog with some good *off season* work.I have heard about *pecked up* and poor quality birds, but the preserves I have hunted in Idaho put plastic blinders on the pheasant's beaks and the birds were in very good shape. One preserve had 1 year old birds which were a bit wilier than their younger counterparts and ran more.Keep in mind, I'd rather hunt wild birds...and would take a day of ruffed grouse hunting over a preserve any day. It would be a sad day if there were no wild birds to hunt....But...I just wonder if these places are unfairly maligned. Edited by: Freedive100 at: 1/13/03 8:17:11 pm
 

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I guess it is all about perception.....I have hunted wild quail and there is nothing that will scare you more than the wild flush and flurry of a covey and nothing more thrilling about chasing Sir Bob. Compare that to the usual singles or doubles that you find at a preseve and it just kinda falls flat. I have shot canned quail and pheasant a few times and it just doesn't do it for me. I think that the preserves meet a need and a demand that exists, whether it be for the businessman that can only get away for a weekend or a father and son reliving the past or even for warming up the dog and hunter prior to the season they have a place.
 

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Rick you're right, there's nothing like busting a big covey of wild quail. As for preserves...it all depends on how you do it. I'm in the process now of scheduling a preserve quail hunt with 3 other guys. When you release 40 quail, you bust quite a few coveys. However, unlike wild birds, they usually sit really tight. When the dog is on point and you accidentally step on a bird, its not a big rush.The advantages of a preserve hunt are less obvious. For me to find a good upland hunt in Kansas, I have to drive about 4-6 hours west to find a decent amount of walk-in public land. Then pay for lodging, meals, etc. Hunt, and hope we find birds. Then spend 6 hours driving back. I can't do that for less than $85. With preserves, I can get up in the morning, kill some quail, drive 20 minutes to my house. Cook quail, drink beer, and watch a game. --Wing"Believe me, Delmar, Woman is the most fiendish instrument of torture ever devised to bedevil the days of man!" -- Ulysses Everett McGill, to his friend, Delmar O'Donnell, in O Brother, Where Art Thou?
 

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The ones that I have been on were planted birds, where the owner goes out the morning of the hunt and sets the birds, usually in singles, pairs, and some small "coveys" of 3-4......to actually see the quail in front of the dogs nose or to have to actually kick it out of the cover........it just seems more like a clay shoot.IF the place is large enough, they can have "wild" coveys that they have put out earlier in the year and then supplement them with more released birds. These require lots more work. Then there are the plantations in GA where you can still go and ride in a horse drawn buggy, with dog handlers on horse back, and chase wild coveys, and watch pointers work. They can also supplement these coveys but there is intense land management to support the birds year round.
 
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