Advice for Novice Bird Hunters

Bird Hunter in woods

It might sound funny, but, “Can you think like a bird?” If you can, that can be helpful if you’re a bird hunter. After all, if you can think like a bird, then you, as a hunter, will probably have a better idea of where birds go, what they do during the day, what attracts them, what annoys them, etc.

Bird Hunter in woods

What are some tips for new bird hunters looking to shoot and kill ground-dwelling birds like quail, chukar and pheasant(s)

Go Where There’s Water

Here’s a great tip: go where there’s water. After all, birds, like people, need water to live. So they’re going to find water daily to drink (and stay alive). Therefore, you’re likely to find birds near bodies of water, whether it’s a ditch that has captured recent rainfall or a stream or pond… When looking around, look for where vegetation is greenest– that’s usually indicative of a water source nearby. 

Habitats Are Key

What about habitat and such? Birds often end up hiding from predators and/or looking for food among ground plants like sage. So look for their habitat(s) to find them. You can track them by their footprints. You can also look for depressions in the ground where they dust themselves off. 

Use Your Ears

Listen for bird calls which are used to gather birds together– the sound may be a repetitive “kak-kak-kak” or sound like the word “Chi-ca-go.” Go on the Internet and look for videos showcasing different bird calls to familiarize yourself with various ones. 

Find the Flush

Finally, be ready for what’s known as “the flush.” Birds tend to stick together (there’s safety in numbers) but when they feel threatened by man or animal, they seemingly “burst” (or flush) in all directions to quickly scatter. When they flush, be ready to shoot and kill them. Keep in mind when flushed their paths are often in a relative straight line. Ground-dwelling birds are generally low flyers– getting up to about six feet above the ground during flushes.  Learn what you can about the birds you plan to hunt. Think like those birds. You’ll get ‘em! 

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