Rail Hunting

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Rail Hunting

Postby ksmak02 » Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:05 am

I'm eager to do so.......If you know anything about it throw it up here!
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Re: Rail Hunting

Postby domino » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:07 pm

I have shot them as incidentals while duck hunting but I read an arcticle a few years back in a Wild fowl magazine that went something like this.Throw rocks from your boat (hopefully you are in Rail habitat) and if thier are any rails around they will peep at the sound of the splash.I tried this and wouldn't you know it worked.I could hear birds peeping.But getting them to flush out of the tall reeds wqas another story.
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Re: Rail Hunting

Postby AAR » Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:06 pm

All of these were taken around Corpus christi give or take 30 minute drive. Normally the best shooting is around mid-late september, after that they just don't flush as often. I've hunted them without a dog which having one I'm sure would help. Find some of the salt marshes around here like around Bayside, on the island, pretty much anywhere there are good amounts of vegetation within 20-30 yards of the water. Hunt in the stuff that is anywhere from knee high to waist deep. Some will flush, most will not as they prefer to just run away and in thicker vegetation that is an easier option.
In the salt you will find mostly clapper with occasional king, brackish water will hold all four and fresh water sora/virginia/king. I've spent way too many 90-100 degree days in september chasing them to get all the species, after the virginia I may hang up the rail hunting hat :fingerhead:

Clapper rail:

King rail:

Sora rail:

Three together:

Dad with nice sora and clapper

Pile o' Sora from a great rail day

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Re: Rail Hunting

Postby Joe Hunter » Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:16 pm

I always try and get out for a few sora rail hunts in Sept. each year. Mid-later Sept. seems to be the best. I hunt in many of the same places I teal hunt and often see them during the Sept. teal season. FYI -- your legs will know they have been on a hunt when you are finished!

I try to hunt in 1-2 feet of water where the marsh cover (millet, smartweed, etc.) is pretty thick, usually where the walking is tough. They seem to prefer more grass like cover (millet not cattails) but when they are there in any number you will find them other cover types (smartweed, etc.) too.

I use my lab and hunt them like upland birds by getting down wind of the cover and letting her wind, trail and flush them. They are runners so the dog helps to flush them and she definately helps with finding them. If you don't have a dog, don't take your eyes off the place it fell until you walk over and get it, they are very hard to see if you are in good thick sora habitat.

They aren't exactly strong fliers. I use #7 steel w/ a cyl/sk choke combo in my 20ga O/U.

It is a good thing the limit is 25 because you don't have much for the skillet when your done, but its fun hunting them and it starts to get both me and my dog in shape for the fall seasons. I usually just cook them like doves.

Good luck.
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