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Super Moderator
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just some thoughts on bringing someone new into the uplands:

Clothing

1. Camo is not appropriate. Wear blaze orange.
2. Wear appropriate footwear and have them broken in before you go hunting. Wear them around the house. My preference is the LL Bean type boot.
3. I like to wear shooting gloves. They are thin and although not warm offer protection from wind and thorns. And you can shoot with them.
4. Dress in layers. Fifty degree weather in the AM can turn into sixty to seventy degree weather in the PM.
5. Wear the right socks. I prefer wool.
6. I wear chaps because of the type of cover I hunt. Chaps are a good idea---they turn away thorns and keep your pants dry from the morning dew.

Gun Handling

!. Keep muzzle in safe direction at all times.
2. Do not shoot birds on the ground. Do not shoot low flying birds.
3. Always know where the other hunters are. Lost sight of them? Shout out "Hey I don't see you, where are you?" You can lose sight of them in brush and other heavy cover.

Shooting

1. These are not decoying ducks. These are rising birds and most will be flying up and away.
2. Shot size and choke should be appropriate for the bird and time of year.
3. When I use my dog I like to call shots. I will typically say "She's getting birdy. Dennis, get up on her and position yourself for the shot."
4. If Dennis doesn't down the bird, next closest person takes the shot if it is an ethical shot.
5. Tell the newbie that a bird can be killed by firing through tree branches and leaves. I had to prove this on one hunt by killing a chukar by firing through leafy branches. After all, 1 1/8 oz. of #6 shot has over 250 pellets. The front of the shot string clears the way for the pellets behind it. How many pellets do you think you need to kill a chukar? grouse?
6. When the dog gets birdy make sure you are READY. To me this means make sure you are using a port arms carry.
7. Take a step into the direction in which the bird will be flying. Remember, lead the bird, pull the trigger when in front of it.

Little Extras

1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Not a bad idea to take aspirins before you start hunting.
3. Got asthma? Make sure you have your inhaler with you.
4. Let the newbie know how your dog works.
5. I put a blaze orange collar on the dog.

DON'T ASSUME ANYTHING WITH A NEWBIE. OUT OF THE LAST SIX NEWBIES I TOOK OUT, FIVE OF THEM EXPECTED TO WEAR CAMO AND SIT FOR PHEASANTS.
 

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Kristy
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9,166 Posts
I enjoy these kind of threads. I am very beginner, and the chances of me ever getting to go out upland are slim but it helps to read through these for reminders about safety and the reasons you train certain things with the dog. One of my uncles in Wisconsin worked with me on shooting this summer when I was visiting, I want to continue in UKC so want to get better at handling a gun safely. I would like to be able to eventually go out, I hope it will ultimately make me a better trainer if I have actually seen real hunting scenarios and see how the dogs work them.

I really enjoyed shooting clays, now that our weather is finally cooling off I'd love to get out and practice again. My uncle's advice was to find a sportsmans club to join down here, I was taken aback at the cost (I'm in the Carolinas and thought it would be more reasonable) maybe I need to expand my search area. We don't have nearly the choices they do in Wisconsin either. Makes me wish for the millionth time we had 20 acres.....
 

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Watch your dog. They know if there are birds in the field or not. Generally anyway. Be careful to call them back and not to let them get too far out front. If they flush a bird and it’s too far away, you won’t get that bird. Your dog will look at you like, why the hell did I bring you? Learn how your dog hunts. Does your dog spin to flush the bird so you can hit it? Or does your dog just flush a bird without paying attention to where you are and if you are able to shoot it? Dogs learn with us. Dogs are in it for the game. Guns = Fun for dogs. They will get an attitude if you miss a lot. Practice 5 stand if you can at the range. Skeet and trap are ok, but doesn’t really give you lots of different ways a bird will fly. Also pick up your spent shells and bring them home, don’t leave them in the field.

Best thing is to watch your dog. Be very careful to not hit your dog, especially if your dog doesn’t sit on the flush.

Goldens have amazing noses.
 

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Jamie
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Excellent post! I grew up in a heavily populated pheasant area in South Dakota where my hometown is taken over with people in blaze orange each year. Last year a friend of my parents that always comes over from Wisconsin to hunt had his dog get shot. The dog lived, but basically had to have one whole side of his body shaved to get out the bb's. I will only go out with locals that have hunted forever, makes me too nervous because some people lack serious common sense!
 

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<<5. Tell the newbie that a bird can be killed by firing through tree branches and leaves. I had to prove this on one hunt by killing a chukar by firing through leafy branches. After all, 1 1/8 oz. of #6 shot has over 250 pellets. The front of the shot string clears the way for the pellets behind it. How many pellets do you think you need to kill a chukar? grouse? >>

For those of you shooting pheasant, just make sure you're not illegally taking a hen pheasant along with it. There will be other opportunities to flush.
 

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Super Moderator
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Discussion Starter #9
I personally prefer brush pants over chaps, but to each their own!

https://theuplandhunter.com/best-brush-pants-grouse-hunting/
Brush pants are good. However, my brush pants seemed to shrink after a couple of years (get my drift?) whereas the chaps did not. I also like the chaps for their ability to cut the wind. The brush pants I had were faced in the front only.

My jacket is a Carhartt, love the way it doesn't snag on thorns and other brush. Favorite hat is an Irish tweed hat.
 
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