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poutpro

Roosters and Hens

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poutpro

I was out this weekend and had several birds that I couldn't tell whether they were hens or young roosters. Is there any way to distinguish between the 2, or do you have to just let them go and wait for a definite rooster? Do both hens and roosters cackle, or just the roosters?

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fivebucks

It is only the roosters that cackle. If you hear it that is 100% a rooster.

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Dano2

Ya, the rooster cackle, that was the only way I could tell them apart last year, soo many young ones. Haven't been out this year yet, I have something against the warm weather and standing crops, not to mention the stress I feel when I have a spot in mind and i KNOW I wont be the first when there on opening weekend, heh, heh.

Did manage to get the younger one out to a preserve today though, she did fairly well, and brought all birds back to me no problem. Had her out last year and she wouldn't pick a rooster up, maybe she got spurred, not sure, but that was her first and only hunt last year because of an accident.

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lawdog

You need to see the color. Who's to say its the bird you are looking at that's cackling, there could be others around or others in the air. If in doubt, let him go and come back in a month when he's full of color...

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Dano2

I agree, it all depends on the situation, experience, commen sense, and good judgment. Sometimes, by the time you can tell, its too late for a shot anyway, which is ok, much rather get an older bird, but again depends on the situation. If I've been hunten all day, and dont have any luck, and I have a shot at a younger one towards the end of the day,, I'll take it.

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MIKE IN lINO III

Alot of the birds that we jumped last year did not cackle even though they were roosters, I thouhgt that was odd.

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lawdog

We've had that for years with non-cackling roosters we kind of thought they were evolving to not cackle and run instead of fly as survival instincts... HOPE NOT!

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shae1986

if you look very close you can see the difference in the tails as they get up. the Roosters only have the straight fethers but the hens have the straight fethers with tail fethers inside of them like a grouse. I noticed this worked well when we went to ND on opener.

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poutpro

what do you mean with tail feathers inside of them?

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shae1986

by inside i mean outside, they tie into the long tail fethers. i will look for a picture

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Shorelunch

They definitely don't crackle all the time, that's for sure, especially the younger ones. We always go by color, and we probably let a few young rooster fly but that's OK by me.

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CaptainMusky

I haven't had a rooster cackle when it gets up for years. I wonder if type of dog has anything to do with it. Meaning, pointing vs. flushing dog. Pointing dogs are less apt to push a bird and they will hold tight??? Sounds strange, but I hunt pheasants all over the state and it has been quite some time since I had one cackle when flushing.

I never go by size of bird or tail feathers when deciding to shoot a pheasant. I make sure it is a rooster with the white ring around its neck or the eye patch or something.

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BLACKJACK

In my experience, most roosters don't cackle and when they do its when your dogs 'pops' them out of cattails or thick cover.

As far as the difference between hens and roosters, the cackle is a definate yes, but also if you have a crossing shot and see the red face patch, its a rooster.

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