It was very interesting to say the least... You have to hunt North to South and back, take a half hour break at 11:45, hunt in front of and behind other hunters. The guys without permits got to pick their hunting area before me even though I had a permit, (rubbed me the wrong way that morning, but I should have gotten there earlier). I bagged a really small rooster early, but without a dog those birds were running 10 yards in front of us (my ears don't lie). I did flush up a hen, but I would have been shooting towards the road, and saw a car coming that would have most certainly gotten peppered by my shot. The hen flew into a tree trunk and fell straight down, I went to go kick it up again but it just walked into a culvert under the road. Saw a big rooster with a really long tail hanging out in the culvert, but was not about to ground swat birds just to fill a limit. We had about 4 other chances at birds, but I was hunting with a guy on his second hunt and another on his first hunt and they both froze up when the birds flushed under them. On top of that, the other guy in our group with experience had a kink in his barrel or was shooting blanks because he could not drop a bird at all on Friday. I might have thought to take long shots at those birds if I had the Wingmaster in the field; but I was shooting my first gun, a 20ga single shot with a 25" barrel, and I don't like taking shots that might end in a running cripple or a lost dead bird. I checked the harvest sheet as we left at 2pm and noticed there were quite a few hunters/groups which didn't bag any birds all day.
Redemption will come this weekend. I have a permit for DesPlaines for Saturday, and I'll be on the prowl for some ducks when I'm not dropping pheasants.
Anyone pheasant hunting DesPlaines this weekend?