The hunting of woodcock in our country was and remains one of the most popular! For the beauty and excitement of this hunting admired famous Russian people, among them outstanding writers Ivan Turgenev, Leo Tolstoy, Sergei Aksakov.
And now we (modern hunters) in the spring try to find time to go to the forest to hunt for spring draft.
There are a lot of ways to hunt woodcock! He is hunted in spring, summer, and autumn. In the forest you can take a dog with you, and you can successfully hunt without it. This article will discuss all the ways of hunting woodcock – you will only have to choose the most suitable for you.
Hunting for a woodcock on a spring draft is one of the most fascinating! Who among us does not dream to spend a warm spring evening in a quiet April forest !? It’s nice to admire the beauty of forest landscapes, listen to the singing of newly flown birds, and simply breathe in fresh forest air!
In our forests from the southern countries, woodcocks fly in groups. The earliest of them arrive when the snow has not yet come down. But the most massive arrival begins 2 weeks after the arrival of the first forest waders. Woodcocks are planted in deciduous and mixed forests. After arriving at the woodcocks, the breeding season begins – traction. Males in search of a female fly over the forest and call it. The song of the male consists of three tribes and sounds something like “quag-qu-tsy”.
A woodcock leads a nocturnal and twilight lifestyle, so hunting begins on a late evening, after sunset. But the hunter needs to come to the forest in advance in order to occupy the most successful place.
Woodcocks fly very low over the trees, rarely rising two meters from the tops. These birds avoid open spaces – fields and meadows, they try to fly them along the “border” – over the edge of the forest. Therefore it is useless to lead the hunting of a woodcock in the field.
It is not necessary to hunt a forest sandpiper and a pine forest, and in general, in high coniferous forests, it is rarely encountered. The most successful place for hunting woodcocks is low deciduous and mixed forests – alders, aspen, birch forests. In the spring draft, a woodcock will fly through all clearings, glades, ganges, plots (deforestation) – it is in these places that a male expects a woodcock. This is where we need to settle down – the male is sure to fly here!
It is worth noting that to shoot at the female on the spring pull of a woodcock is strictly prohibited! After killing a female, we will kill her future brood. Hunting is only for males. But, fortunately, the probability of shooting a female forest kulik is small for the reason that they rarely fly, mostly walk on the ground. But sometimes females still rise in the air in order to attract the attention of males.
How to distinguish a flying female from a male? In general, it is often possible to observe in the forest spring sky such a picture – one individual of a woodcock catches up with another. It can be two males, one of which wants to drive the other from this part of the forest, and maybe a bird flying ahead is a female. Therefore, one should always aim to heal a bird flying behind. If they move a short distance from each other, then it is better to refrain from the shot altogether, so as not to accidentally hit the female.
The spring pull of the woodcock begins at dusk, shortly before sunset. The best place to hunt will be small open spaces (glades, meadows, fringes) in a mixed and deciduous forest. The hunter should hide somewhere near the bush, so that it would be unnoticeable. Get better face to the west, because against the background of the evening dawn, the silhouette of a flying forest sandpiper is very clearly visible.
Woodcock – a very secretive and shy bird, it can be frightened even by a small rustle and a slight movement. The frightened forest kulik will jump sharply aside and it will be almost impossible to shoot it. On this hunt, you should observe silence, do not fuss at the sight of a woodcock, and smoothly raise the gun, aim and shoot. By following these simple rules, your hunting for spring draft will be successful.
After a successful shot, remember the place where the woodcock fell, as it is very difficult to find because of its feathers, which very successfully masks it in last year’s grass. To search for a padded bird in the grass, it is better to take a flashlight. The wounded woodcock, falling to the ground, tries to hide in the thicket of the forest. In this case, you need to finish off it with a second shot, and not catch with your hands, because to catch a forest kulik in this way is almost impossible.
The success of the woodcock hunting on spring drafts largely depends on the weather conditions. Quiet windless, a little cloudy evening – the most suitable time! In such weather the forest kulik flies very low and slowly. In the cold, these birds can not fly out at all. In strong wind, males fly relatively high and fast. In such frosty and windy days, hunting will be less effective.
The pull of the woodcock lasts several hours after sunset. At night the forest kulik fades and hides on the ground. The gong resumes only by the morning. Morning thrust begins an hour and a half before sunrise and ends before dawn. Hunting for morning draft is less effective, as it is short and involves a small number of males.
Summer hunting for a forest snake is no less interesting than hunting for traction. You can hunt with or without a dog. Particularly worth mentioning about hunting woodcock on mud. It consists in the fact that the brood of these birds, as soon as the chicks will grow up