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****

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:59 pm
by Deltaman
I've killed a few over the years, typically at first light or sunset, but have never really hunted them because we really haven't had huntable numbers. This year seems different, and I'm thinking that perhaps our recent drought has caused them to change their patterns. While creek hunting this year, we've been seeing a fair amount of them at first light, but after the sun comes up, where they have gone is anybody's guess. Anybody else down South noticing an influx of them? Would love to be able to hunt them, but the places we are seeing them are thick, and the ground is swampy/soft. We shoot snipe here, but they are typically in open marsh flats, and easier to walk up. Can I expect to see **** on the open flats as well, or are they more "in the woods" bird, as their nickname, "Timberdoodle" suggests? Any insight would be appreciated.

Re: ****

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:32 pm
by aunt betty
Deltaman wrote:I've killed a few over the years, typically at first light or sunset, but have never really hunted them because we really haven't had huntable numbers. This year seems different, and I'm thinking that perhaps our recent drought has caused them to change their patterns. While creek hunting this year, we've been seeing a fair amount of them at first light, but after the sun comes up, where they have gone is anybody's guess. Anybody else down South noticing an influx of them? Would love to be able to hunt them, but the places we are seeing them are thick, and the ground is swampy/soft. We shoot snipe here, but they are typically in open marsh flats, and easier to walk up. Can I expect to see **** on the open flats as well, or are they more "in the woods" bird, as their nickname, "Timberdoodle" suggests? Any insight would be appreciated.
Hunted them here in central Illinois back in 1975-78 with my dad. He was masterful at gaining permission. Never taught me his tricks but I suspect cash was his magic.

Anyhoo...we had several good places that all looked like flooded timber that wasn't flooded. Hard to explain but creek bottoms where it was treeish and somehow not all buckbrush and weeds. Unique habitat.
We'd jump them and they never flew very far so we could hunt the same bird a while sometimes. Lot of hard work chasing them with not a lot of rewards. I think we shot a few. It's not an easy sport.

Re: ****

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:36 pm
by Rick
They'll fly to open areas to feed at night but spend their days in thickets. "Moist sandy, loamy soil." is the ****'s mantra. We generally find them in the thickest, thorniest, most miserable cover where a dog is a tremendous asset:
Image

But you'll sometimes find them in thinner stuff and along edges, where a dog isn't necessary and a stop (where you can swing a gun) and go approach can make them nervous enough to flush. Don't know about your area, but here by the Gulf in Louisiana they generally show up with north winds and leave with south. And if you're not seeing their 50cent piece sized "white wash" splashes on the ground, it's probably not a good time or place.

Re: ****

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:17 am
by Deltaman
Thanks for the feedback! I will have to do a little more investigating of the areas, and see if I can successfully flush multiple birds. My fear is that the areas I am seeing them in are quite thick, edges of creeks, with some areas lined with sawgrass, which makes it even more difficult. As much as I would love to use, don't think a dog could work the area without at least some encounters with Johnny Cottonmouth, and unless it is cold, alligators. Such a neat bird, and the fact that they have shown up in numbers this year has got me thinking about some other areas that may be more reasonable to hunt and worth checking.

Re: ****

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:51 am
by Rick
If it's not chilly enough to put reptiles in slo-mo, you'll not likely see many ****.

Re: ****

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:00 pm
by Deltaman
Good to know Rick, Thanks!

Re: ****

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:08 pm
by Deltaman
"If it's not chilly enough to put reptiles in slo-mo, you'll not likely see many ****."
Good to know Rick, and hopefully, we'll see a drop in temps soon! Like you, I am on the gulf coast, fighting the same constant tug of war between the hot/humid air coming off the gulf, and the tail end of artic cold fronts as they push through........or not.