by Simon Lusk

In Hawkes Bay there are two species of birds that are legal to shoot, Ring Necked Pheasants and Californian Quail. Both are enjoyable to hunt and good to eat, and my dogs absolutely love flushing and retrieving them.

Pheasants and quail require the same gear, although different shot sizes. If I am shooting pheasants somewhere there are quail I will shoot with a Remington Nitro Pheasant #6 as my pheasant load and target load as my quail load. If there are few quail in the area I will hunt Remington Nitro Pheasant #5, which has about an extra 10 yards of knockdown power.

Unless I know I am going to a spot where there are only quail and no pheasants I load with the pheasant load as it will knock down quail while quail load at long range will not knock down a pheasant. I change to quail load if I hear quail or flush some, and don’t change back until I am certain the quail are all gone.

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