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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks, what do you think about hunting on preserves? I am trying to make up my mind whether it is sportsmanlike to shoot raised quail and pheasants and using a guide. There are some people I know that that is the only kind of hunting they do, at the tune of $7-$10. per quail or $20. for pheasant. Of course, guides and dogs are extra.

I have always enjoyed learning about the game, planning the hunt, and actually hunting as opposed to simply walking around a field shooting. Maybe I'm wrong, but I would like to know how others feel.
 

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I see nothing wrong with hunting pheasants or other pen raised birds on a reserve. I have a relative that operates a pheasant farm and many people enjoy hunting the birds. The birds are set in a field that has cover then they are hunted with the customers dogs or with his dogs. Its really not much different than hunting the pen raised birds the game commission stock.
Give it a try I think you will enjoy it.

When I first started hunting their were a good number of wild pheasants where I live. The good ole game commission helped ruin that with their stocking program. Now there is no such thing as a wild pheasant in this area. So if I want to hunt pheasants around home, its going to be pen raised birds.
 

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I have never hunted a preserve, but raise game birds. Can't see much difference in me raising and eating; than you shooting a raised bird and eating it. I don't hunt mine. But at the end of the day we both have the same result. Birds we paid for on the table. They have 2 or 3 of those places here. Wild quail are scarce with current farming/predation practices. And no chukar/pheasant here wild. So it gives folks an opportunity to hunt them that would not get to if they didn't pay for it. I would not pay to hunt, but that is because I am to cheap. Not because of ethics.
If you have some hunting land it may be more enjoyable to create an environment to sustain birds and raise them up to turn loose. I think every quail in the county just about has come to my place due to the birds in the pen. I try and make a good habitat for the wild ones since there aren't that many around these days. Plus it givem me a reason to keep the varmints clear off my place.
 

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I don't think there is anything wrong or unsportmanlike about hunting birds on a preserve. I've done it many, many times. I really don't think there is much if any differance than hunting wild birds.
 

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When I was learning to hunt at around age 40 I found it very useful to go to preserves. I learned a lot from the guides. My first preserve hunt was for hogs with a handgun. Then I went for mouflon with a handgun. After that I felt I had learned what I could from preserve hunting and actually got pretty good at hunting in the field. My first post-age-40 big hunt at a non-preserve, excluding deer hunting at my in-laws' farm, was hunting pronghorn in Wyoming. The preparation I had at the preserves trained me so that I could make a shot without buck fever on a pronghorn at 260 yards with a handgun. The preserves weren't the first places I hunted or took big game, but they helped me immensely in the way of learning-- particularly in controlling buck fever.

Another great lesson I learned at the preserve was spot and stalk hunting, which I prefer above all other techniques. I really never liked hunting from a blind or a stand, and spot and stalk is the most exciting way to hunt.

I took my son to a pheasant preserve to get him some experience with live birds. Then I took him to the same big game preserve that I learned at, where he shot a nice ram and a hog.

There's a lot of good value to going to a preserve. You learn a lot and it's a good time.

Having experienced both preserves and non-preserve hunting I really don't see much of a difference between the two, except that at a preserve the scouting is done for you in advance. The key to good hunting is always good land and good intelligence.

I think preserves are an excellent way to introduce a new hunter to the sport. You can concentrate on your shooting and stalking.

Would I go back? Maybe, but not frequently. Should you go? Absolutely! Give it a try, learn what you can learn. If you want to go to bird preserve and don't have your own dog ask about hiring a dog handler for your hunt. At the bird preserve I went to the handlers are dog hobbyists who use the experience to train their dogs and earn a little money. It's great to be with a good dog and his man.
 

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Cabin4 said:
I don't think there is anything wrong or unsportmanlike about hunting birds on a preserve. I've done it many, many times. I really don't think there is much if any differance than hunting wild birds.
I couldn't disagree more. Planted birds are stupider and generally don't fly especially well. Tame quail are not even an approximation of wild quail. Pheasants are better but not great. Chucker are actually the most fun, but not native here. When I was growing up my father was 25% owner of a preserve and lodge operation a few hours west of here. I've hunted planted birds there, in South Dakota, and a handful of other places in Kansas including several "european" shoots. The wildness of the birds varys some from place to place but even the most wild planted bird won't live long.

If you're new, want to work a dog, or the season is over, go for it. But don't expect it to be like chasing wild pheasants.
 

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i agree with duk killer if what they hunting hasn t been allowed a year or so to become a survivor..
im not familar with preserves but would assume some do one way an some another..
if its strait out the pen its like taking an hog or something you been graining for your table..
but i believe in less regulation to the degree ,,that i wouldn t want to get in to anybodies buisiness enough to put another regulation on the books.to dang many believe society ought to be regulated totally ,,birth to death,, now..jmo slim
 

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dukkillr said:
Cabin4 said:
I don't think there is anything wrong or unsportmanlike about hunting birds on a preserve. I've done it many, many times. I really don't think there is much if any differance than hunting wild birds.
I couldn't disagree more. Planted birds are stupider and generally don't fly especially well. Tame quail are not even an approximation of wild quail. Pheasants are better but not great. Chucker are actually the most fun, but not native here. When I was growing up my father was 25% owner of a preserve and lodge operation a few hours west of here. I've hunted planted birds there, in South Dakota, and a handful of other places in Kansas including several "european" shoots. The wildness of the birds varys some from place to place but even the most wild planted bird won't live long.

If you're new, want to work a dog, or the season is over, go for it. But don't expect it to be like chasing wild pheasants.
Duk,

What are talking about? The subject is about the sportsmanship of this. What’s unsportsmanlike about hunting birds on a preserve? I never said planted birds on a preserve act the same as wild birds. Of course they do and only a idiot would think they don't. Of course they are not as smart as wild birds and won't fly as much nor fly as fast. The subject is about the sportsmanship of hunting a preserve and on this point, hunting a bird preserve is no different. I see no reason why a bird hunter should question their sportsmanship ethics if they want to hunt a bird preserve. You still need to know how to work a field, your dog and you still need to know how to shoot at a flying object and turn it into a meal on the table. The birds are not fenced in or restricted in any way.
 

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What I am talking about is your third sentence, "I really don't think there is much if any difference than hunting wild birds." I simply disagree. In my opinion there is a huge difference between hunting planted and wild birds, especially quail, which is exactly what I said.
 

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;)Wildbuc, some preserves the birds are not good fliers, and there are only the birds you have paid to be put out. All the rest have either been killed or hawks have taken them. BUT there are some places that have good cover and lots of birds in the field. They do offer quality hunting. One place I saw in S. D. years ago had flocks of ringnecks getting up, and I don't see how they could have been much more elusive... :D Another spot in the same state was the best place I ever saw, while hunting deer, I heard a vehicle stop on top of the hill, and guys get out talking. Immediately, phesants started flying and running to the swamp!!!! there must have been 200 phesants exit that field. Now these were a more expensive to hunt than the put and take places. It is like everything, you get what you pay for....... ;)
 

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Duk and Cabin. I sense you two are talking two different things here. One is talking the ethics of it and the other the sporting challenge of the hunt. At least that's how it seems to me.

The truth of the matter is how sporting the hunt is will vary widely from preserve to preserve depending on how they are managed. Some merely supplement wild birds by releasing pen raised ones and some even do it well in advance of shooting them whereas others do it very shortly before. Some use birds raised in huge flight pens and who have lived almost but not quite the same as wild birds where as some use birds raised like chickens in a coop. How it's done makes the difference in the "experience of the hunt".

While I've not been I've read of some few top notch preserves that have birds you cannot tell from wild as they were raised in huge flight pens and didn't actually see that their food/water came from humans. They were then turned loose months in advance and lived with the wild birds until time to be hunted. In sharp variance to that are places that keep them in tiny pens not unlike a chicken coop and place a drugged bird by hand with wings folded in just such a way to keep them there until they are practically kicked in the butt and since they've had no real flying experience to speak of they are not and cannot be a challenge. There are all sorts of variations in between.

I see nothing wrong ethically with either but there is a huge difference in the sporting challenge of them.
 

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dukkillr said:
What I am talking about is your third sentence, "I really don't think there is much if any difference than hunting wild birds." I simply disagree. In my opinion there is a huge difference between hunting planted and wild birds, especially quail, which is exactly what I said.
So that sentance is in the same paragraph and the discussion is about the sprotsmanship/ethics issue. In this regard, I'm saying there is no differance. Of course there is a differance when it comes to "challenge". But that is not the topic at hand at that point in the thread anyway.
 

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Graybeard said:
Duk and Cabin. I sense you two are talking two different things here. One is talking the ethics of it and the other the sporting challenge of the hunt. At least that's how it seems to me.

The truth of the matter is how sporting the hunt is will vary widely from preserve to preserve depending on how they are managed. Some merely supplement wild birds by releasing pen raised ones and some even do it well in advance of shooting them whereas others do it very shortly before. Some use birds raised in huge flight pens and who have lived almost but not quite the same as wild birds where as some use birds raised like chickens in a coop. How it's done makes the difference in the "experience of the hunt".

While I've not been I've read of some few top notch preserves that have birds you cannot tell from wild as they were raised in huge flight pens and didn't actually see that their food/water came from humans. They were then turned loose months in advance and lived with the wild birds until time to be hunted. In sharp variance to that are places that keep them in tiny pens not unlike a chicken coop and place a drugged bird by hand with wings folded in just such a way to keep them there until they are practically kicked in the butt and since they've had no real flying experience to speak of they are not and cannot be a challenge. There are all sorts of variations in between.

I see nothing wrong ethically with either but there is a huge difference in the sporting challenge of them.
You are 100% correct GB. Duk is talking about a differant subject not yet brought up in this topic at that point. I see nothing unethical or unsportsman like about hunting a bird preserve. Most of these birds will not provide the same challenging level as wild birds. That point is well taken and an aspect I understand well. I have hunted both wild birds and preserve birds and in this regard, wild birds are typically faster and will fly earlier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks very much guys for your responses. Like always, there are many different points of view. I feel reassured that preserve hunting is not considered unethical or unsportsmanlike even though it is likely not as challenging as hunting truly wild birds.

I guess this issue came up with me because preserve hunting is so different than what I did as a young man in the 50's and 60's. Back then, to pay to hunt on land, and to actually pay for birds, was unthinkable. Times have changed, however, and now there are fewer birds, less time for hunting, and more strangers living next door. We have to do what we can. I have hunted recently on a preserve with a friend and really enjoyed it. Maybe I better get with the times.... ;D
 

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Well, this has flared some tempers for sure.

Ethically, I can see absolutely nothing wrong with shooting birds on a preserve. They were raised to eat, and you are just bringing them to the table.

As far as fun, and challenge, I have found that quail on preserves are not remotely similar to wild birds, and my three hunts for these at different preserves have all left me feeling ripped off. At one of them, the birds wouldn't flush until the "guide" actually walked into the little brewd and starting kicking them!

Pheasant are a different story. Yes, I know that they are not as wilely and challenging as wild birds. But, they are still a challenge, and a big surprise when they go up, and lots and lots of them get missed by the shooters. I don't feel cheated after a hunt for preserve pheasant, and I love bringing home a few big birds.

The sad fact of the matter is, that for the vast majority of people who would like to hunt pheasant, they have no choice. They can't afford the travel expense plus $500 a day to shoot at a good place out west, and the places in the east where there are good birds and available hunting lands are few and far between.

My advice, if you want to shoot at a preserve, is to find the largest operation you can, even if you have to drive for several hours, and hunt pheasant only. Don't have more than 3 shooters total in your party. It can get a little crowded and dangerous when those birds flush close, and a guide is also standing around.

Mannyrock
 

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i personally see nothing wrong with it.......i dont have dogs but i ahve a good freid whom always has had some sort ofbirddog ...right now he has a brittney and a new german wirehair............the preserve is the perfect place to go to get that new dog on birds.....and here in nc its about the oonly place you can go to kill ringnecks.......the only wild pheasants in nc live on some of our barrier islands.....last place you would think they could go wild but they make it there for some reason........after deer season we usually try to hit this one preserve a few times to get his dogs on birds.......we also usually try to go just after a "corporate outing" as they are known for leaving a few pheasants behind...........also great for kids....would i hunt a preserve only....no way...........but nothing wrong with it.......
 

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I for one, probably like most fathers and family men, can't afford the time or expense to drive 1000 miles one way to hunt pheasants. I wish I lived near good bird habitat and had dogs, etc. but till then, I'll hunt on the preserves. Wild birds they may not be, but I bet ya can't walk up and pet it or get it to come to you with feed in your hand, least not in the one I hunt on.
I have just began hunting on preserves and wouldn't change a thing. I took my wife and she LOVED it.
Matter of fact got a hunt scheduled for Jan 11 and March 21st and maybe more.....
 
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