So. Cal Pheasant Hunting

Bill W

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Like many, the apparent upswing in pheasant numbers in the Brawley/El Centro area has me very interested .  For the past five years my pheasant hunting has all been north of Sacramento.  But I gotta say, the idea of driving four hours instead of seven, and the idea of being pretty much assurred of hunting in nice weather (unlike northern Cal. in Nov.) sounds pretty good.  


Having hunted wild birds and pen raised, I gotta say the wild are a lot better.  The idea of hunting a bird that was released an hour earlier doesn't do much for me. If a bird has been in the wild for a few weeks it's probably fine, but otherwise it's not much fun IMO. My understanding is that a lot of the areas down that way have wild (or semi-wild) birds running around.

So with all of that in mind, I'm thinking long and hard about a couple of phesant trips down that way this year.

Does anyone have any ideas on the public lands, or private lands where access can be asked for (or even paid for reasonably)?  In hunting up north I've found that some of the most productive hunting can be found in overgrown irrigation ditches and canals which absolutely require a good dog (preferable flushing IMO) to hunt well. With that in mind, areas that don't look like they have good cover otherwise can hold many birds in ditches.  Anyone have abny suggestions on areas to start scouting.  

I've got a couple of labs that do that kind of thing well and would be interested in linking up with anyone else who'd like to hunt the area this season. I plan on scouting the area during opening weekend of dove to see what's what.

Any thoughts?

Bill
 



docramo

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Bill
Keep in touch as we will most likely hunt the areathis season. We did fine on wild birds 2 years ago but struggled last year. We recently had to put our gundog down and won't have one ready for this season. So if you decide to go let me know , I don't mind sharing my experience in exchange for the working dogs. Message me if you are interested.
 

Bill W

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Real interested.  We'll keep in touch.

When you had the dogs were you more sucessfull in the ditches or the fields.

Bill
 

docramo

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Bill
Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I had typed a paragraph to you about a week ago and then had a computer glitch to where I couldn't get back in for a week. Jesse came to my rescue and it sure is nice to be back in.
We found birds in both ditches and ag. fields. The ditches are tough to work but worth the effort. A good working dog is essential for this area. Aspargus fields,alfalfa.cotton.+corn are good to work. The bonus is the second half of dove season opens the same day so you can usually shoot some before the 8 am. opener of pheasants. Keep in touch.
 

JDC

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The valley has become real hard to pheasant hunt. All the good fields that were open 4+ yrs. ago are now posted. There is some richboy club that pays for the right to post half the damn valley with No Tresspassing signs so they can hunt pheasants without having to deal with Joe Schmuckmeister.

There are still places to hunt pheasant, but hooking up with someone that hunts the valley on a regular basis is the way to fly, or, what we do is hunt dove in the morning, quail later in the morning, and if we stumble upon a pheasant or two it's just a bonus.
 

foulshot

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That farmer would be Abatti.  I think that he has all the farmers in a co-op of some sort.  They starting charging for hnting the fields.  I talked to a warden last year and he figured that Abatti cleared about 20 grand for opening weekend.  Last year my buddies and I managed to find a few unposted fields on the south side of 8, but not many.  We got one rooster out of a carrot field of all things.  Wouldn't have done it without a dog though.
With the amount of work being done by DWU down in Niland area, there should be some good hunting in 2003, and possibly this year.  I talked with some guys from my company that work down in the valley, and I'm getting a few spots to try this season.  I guess it's just hit and miss right now.

BTW, isn't it ironic that Abatti charges to hunt for pheasants that were paid for by hunters!
 


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