I know this is a pheasant forum but it still seemed the best place to pose a question on hunting Hungarian partridge.
I took my 2 year old Drahthaar out yesterday in Wyoming. We started the hunt by 8am as the day was supposed to turn very warm and in the area I hunt we have many rattle snakes so I wanted to be thru by around noon.
The dog worked well and we found birds but my question is focused on the birds themselves.
The first covery we found, the dog locked down on point about 50 yards out ahead of me. I spoke to her to whoa and she did. When I was about 15 yards behind her the birds erupted about 20-25 yards ahead of her and she had not moved a muscle.
I was shocked that they did not hold and threw a desperation shot at a bird and wobbled it. it flew on about 200 yards and dropped like a rock in soome cattails.
As we moved on up...another covery of 6-8 birds about 175 yards to our left busted and flew off. We we not even close to these and in no way had we even influenced them.
The last covey was a group of about 40 birds. The dog was working ahead well and bumped a rabbit. She took a bit of interest in it so I blew two short blasts on my whistle to have her come back to me. As soon as I hit the whistle, the 40 Huns blasted out ahead of us at about 125 yds and the dog was not even close.
The day progressed with the same result. We would find birds and they would act very skittish and bust up way ahead of us.
Now I am originally from SC and used to hunting bobwhite and have hunted pheasant and they at least give you a chance.
What am I doing wrong? The only thing I can figure is it is still early in the season and it is unseasonably warm. Are the birds jumpy due to the heat? Do they hold steadier when it is cold and snowy?
Is this Hun hunting where you need more people to circle an area and just move thru it hoping someone will get a passing shot?
Any help would be appreciated as I am a bit demoralized. I have a great dog and am a decent shot but I need to somehow learn to hit them with a rifle at these ranges if this is how it works.