been thinking about these birds... even talked to a biologist down there about public hunting... anyone have any experience? was told by an outdoor writer on another forum that they're like shooting pheasants in a mesquite thicket... who's done it?
They don't fly well. They won't hold for dogs. They occur in thick thorn scrub with bare ground underneath and evade predators by running through brush then flying from tree to tree. Chances are if you down one without a dog you will have to crawl through scrub to retrieve it. Although parks and wildlife considers them a game bird no one else does and they aren't hunted. Most of the birds shot are picked off with pellet guns while raiding kitchen gardens. Wild chickens would be a better game bird.
We used to see them running around in our backyard when I lived down in the valley. I never did try to hunt them and never really heard of anyone who did. I'm sure the public lands hunts down there, which are pretty limited, would be pretty hit or miss.
If you go just get in an area where they should be before daylight and listen. They make a heck of a racket just before dawn and stay in the tree until light. You can find them easy that way. I have shot a lot of them about 25 years ago around McAllen. I wouldn't take a dog where they live though. They are not very good to eat. Not much meat and tough. They do hate to fly.
Loc: North Texas
Your mostly likely going to be shooting them on the ground, on a limb in the brush, or flying through the scrub. I would take #6 if it were me, but 7.5 should be fine. Anyone I have ever talked to that hunted the public land down there saw zero birds, so I never went.