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Pheasants: When Your Hunting Truck is a Plane

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March 20, 2013

Pheasants: When Your Hunting Truck is a Plane

By Phil Bourjaily

Occasionally we have discussed hunting vehicles in this space. Photographer Dave Tunge sent me this picture of his “hunting truck,” a Piper Super Cub. “The Super Cub is a poor man’s helicopter,” he told me. “I can land almost anywhere with it.” He uses flotation tires inflated to just 6-8 psi (“like pillows”) he says, that allow him to roll over rocks the size of softballs and ruts in the fields without feeling them.

With birds scarce around Yankton, Tunge is able to reach farms in better pheasant areas 150 to 200 miles away in a short time. He lands right in the field, hunts, and flies home.  His 15-month old Lab loves to fly as well.

He rarely spots pheasants from the air. “If I do see them they are running for cover,” he says. "To them the plane is like a giant hawk.” Perhaps it's with that thought in mind Tunge often blows a hawk call as he hunts, believing it makes birds sit tight.

Finally, since this is a shotgun blog, Tunge’s pheasant gun of choice is a 28-gauge Ruger Red Label loaded with Federal Premium 7-1/2s and 6s. While some may think that’s too light for wild birds, I would not be one of them, as I used to hunt pheasants with the same gun and ammo.

Thanks to Dave for sending me this picture, and I wonder if anyone else here has an airborne hunting vehicle.

Comments (19)

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from clinchknot wrote 1 year 4 weeks ago

Had a cropduster relation that used his cropduster to land in high mountain lakes and fish them. With all the small plane crashes that happened last week, I think I will still keep my feet on the ground, and not fly in one of them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 1 year 4 weeks ago

Wasn't there a program "Flying Fisherman". Sorta a hazy reminder to this old dog.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 1 year 4 weeks ago

Sky King!
Every time I go hunting I have a sensation of flying high... but, my feet never leave the ground.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 1 year 4 weeks ago

I had never heard of blowing a hawk call to make pheasants sit tight. Thanks for the tip.
Now, where do I buy one?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 4 weeks ago

Not just blowing. I've heard of gunners wearing a kite on a string flying over their head with the string attached to the back of their vests to hold pheasants tight.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from AAM wrote 1 year 4 weeks ago

I was just taking apart a piper cub yesterday.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from AAM wrote 1 year 4 weeks ago

I meant to say a piper cub engine.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RandyMI wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

I could wish my hunting vehicle were a plane and I could fly it....BUT I'D PROBABLY ACCEPT AN INVITATION!!! :-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

some people have all the luck

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from haverodwilltravel wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

I'm sticking with my truck, SxS, Filson Strap vest and a box full of dog.

:)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TED FORD wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

The Ruger 28 is an underappreciated marvel.It's wonderful for doves and "liberated"quail as well as the occasional pheasant.Phil,old boy,perhaps you can shed some light on just why the 28 is such an efficient little shell.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

I PURCHASED A WINCHESTER MODEL 12 IN 28 GUAGE LAST FALL. IT IS A DANDY RABBIT GUN.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Beautiful Super Cub, a Lab and a limit of pheasants. What's not to like? Years ago I had a Viszla and a Golden Retriever who both liked to ride in my Cessna Cardinal. No room for dogs now in my old '46 Luscombe.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

I don't want to sound jealous, but, damn you lucky rich SOB.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FSU70 wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Phil, while you are answering Mr TedFords question as to why the 28 is such an efficient little shell ? I'd be interested in knowing the choke of the Ruger 28, O/U using 71/2's on Pheasant's ? The 6's I understand and I'm guessing Full over Full or Mod over Full ? Inquiring minds want to know !
Thanks

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cubdrvr wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

I use an IC/Mod..... Those 7.5's are blowing out at the same fps than the 6's and pattern better at 30 yds.....shorter shot string also. Deadly out to 40 yds. which, with a dog, I get 90% of my shots. Good ammo pays dividends.
As my younger brother said ( who shoots the same gun) "It's the most fun I've had since my first .22"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Phil, I too used a Red Label 28 ga for a couple months. After the 2d barrel failed to fire I upgraded to a Beretta Silver Pigeon 28 and love it. Lately my go to is a Beretta 687 12 with 7/8 oz reloads of #6 shot. It is even better IMO.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Luckily I live on the eastern most part of central mo., small pheasant population but some, I think they fly over from Ill. But using my 12 with #6 was best and using my 1100 20ga a #6 was mandatory #5 are a little better. Still like the 12ga on them, they aren't sissy birds like doves. jmo

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigboylotz wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

I'm happy to see the TSA is loosening its firearm restrictions. I hear pheasant hunt with a hockey stick and a pocket knife can be really tough... I can't believe this is the first guns on airplane joke. I expected more F/S.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

I don't want to sound jealous, but, damn you lucky rich SOB.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 4 weeks ago

Had a cropduster relation that used his cropduster to land in high mountain lakes and fish them. With all the small plane crashes that happened last week, I think I will still keep my feet on the ground, and not fly in one of them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 1 year 4 weeks ago

Wasn't there a program "Flying Fisherman". Sorta a hazy reminder to this old dog.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 1 year 4 weeks ago

Sky King!
Every time I go hunting I have a sensation of flying high... but, my feet never leave the ground.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 1 year 4 weeks ago

I had never heard of blowing a hawk call to make pheasants sit tight. Thanks for the tip.
Now, where do I buy one?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 4 weeks ago

Not just blowing. I've heard of gunners wearing a kite on a string flying over their head with the string attached to the back of their vests to hold pheasants tight.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from AAM wrote 1 year 4 weeks ago

I was just taking apart a piper cub yesterday.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from AAM wrote 1 year 4 weeks ago

I meant to say a piper cub engine.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RandyMI wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

I could wish my hunting vehicle were a plane and I could fly it....BUT I'D PROBABLY ACCEPT AN INVITATION!!! :-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

some people have all the luck

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from haverodwilltravel wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

I'm sticking with my truck, SxS, Filson Strap vest and a box full of dog.

:)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TED FORD wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

The Ruger 28 is an underappreciated marvel.It's wonderful for doves and "liberated"quail as well as the occasional pheasant.Phil,old boy,perhaps you can shed some light on just why the 28 is such an efficient little shell.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

I PURCHASED A WINCHESTER MODEL 12 IN 28 GUAGE LAST FALL. IT IS A DANDY RABBIT GUN.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Beautiful Super Cub, a Lab and a limit of pheasants. What's not to like? Years ago I had a Viszla and a Golden Retriever who both liked to ride in my Cessna Cardinal. No room for dogs now in my old '46 Luscombe.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FSU70 wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Phil, while you are answering Mr TedFords question as to why the 28 is such an efficient little shell ? I'd be interested in knowing the choke of the Ruger 28, O/U using 71/2's on Pheasant's ? The 6's I understand and I'm guessing Full over Full or Mod over Full ? Inquiring minds want to know !
Thanks

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cubdrvr wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

I use an IC/Mod..... Those 7.5's are blowing out at the same fps than the 6's and pattern better at 30 yds.....shorter shot string also. Deadly out to 40 yds. which, with a dog, I get 90% of my shots. Good ammo pays dividends.
As my younger brother said ( who shoots the same gun) "It's the most fun I've had since my first .22"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Phil, I too used a Red Label 28 ga for a couple months. After the 2d barrel failed to fire I upgraded to a Beretta Silver Pigeon 28 and love it. Lately my go to is a Beretta 687 12 with 7/8 oz reloads of #6 shot. It is even better IMO.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Luckily I live on the eastern most part of central mo., small pheasant population but some, I think they fly over from Ill. But using my 12 with #6 was best and using my 1100 20ga a #6 was mandatory #5 are a little better. Still like the 12ga on them, they aren't sissy birds like doves. jmo

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigboylotz wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

I'm happy to see the TSA is loosening its firearm restrictions. I hear pheasant hunt with a hockey stick and a pocket knife can be really tough... I can't believe this is the first guns on airplane joke. I expected more F/S.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment