Five Ways To Shoot Your Limit
Sometimes shooting your limit isn’t that important. If I’m taking youngsters or a first timer hunting, the focus is on safety and having fun. If I’m working a young dog, I’ll concentrate on keeping him on task. Some days I only have an hour or two and I’ll take what I can get. But shooting a limit delivers a certain sense of satisfaction. Any day in the field feels like a victory. A filled limit feels like a championship win. Here are five simple tips for shooting a limit of ringnecks.
If a limit is three birds and you hit every one you flush, only three flushes are needed to fill a limit. On the other hand, if you miss half the birds you flush, six flushes will be needed to fill your limit. That is twice as much effort to put the same amount of feathers in your game vest. I enjoy a good hunt as much as the next guy and have been known to let a flushed bird fly on banner days. But that is by design and by choice. You would be surprised at how many opening day hunters haven’t touched their shotgun since last season. Make a few visits to your local trap range every month to stay sharp. It’s fun, inexpensive, and will pay off during the season.
Capitalize On The Harvest
Much of the prime pheasant hunting territory in my area is surrounded by cornfields. The corn holds a ton of pheasants when it’s standing. But when the combines go through all those birds are literally running for the ditches. If you’re there on the day of harvest or soon afterward the hunting is about as good as it gets.
Watch Other Hunters
This is a great tactic for public land hunters. We often curse our luck for having to fight the crowds on public property. There certainly are some advantages to hunting private plots but we can’t all have our own pheasant paradise. When hunting a heavily pressured area, just sit back and watch a group pushing through a property. Watch how many birds they kick up and miss. Take note of where they land and as soon as that group moves on, head to those flushed birds. They’re often sitting right where they landed.
Hunt Overlooked Areas
If you hunt public property, chances are the prime looking cover gets hit hard. River bottoms, long grassy fields, cattail marshes, and fence lines are going to be worked by just about every group that hunts the area. But many hunters won’t go out of their way to hunt a small cluster of cover in the middle of a mowed field or even small chunks of cover near the parking area. Birds on heavily pressured hunting areas go where they aren’t pestered. It’s usually pretty easy to find these spots. Glass a hunting property to find the best places to hunt, then go hunt the places most would consider not worth walking. That’s where the birds will be.
Don’t Give Up
It can be easy to limit out in prime hunting areas under perfect conditions. Alas, that is rarely the case for most hunters. You’re most likely going to be putting a lot of miles on boots and trucks to fill your limit. Some days I’m just as happy to go home with a bird or two. But if I am determined to get a limit, I’ll push through eight foot tall cattails, mud, barbed wire and anything else in my way. Sometimes, it’s necessary. You have to be prepared physically and mentally for a tough hunt.