Use a dog: This is most important tip of all. Good dogs can keep crippling rates exceptionally low. Over the course of my best three seasons with my first shorthair, Sam, I killed 100 pheasants and lost one, which is about as good as it gets. I have seen and marveled at labs somehow knowing exactly where a bird dove and going underwater to get it. Dogs lose some birds, too, however, so you still have to take good shots.