Poor Man’s Pheasant Hunt – South Carolina Marsh Hens

Seems like all of my buds have been taking off for Canada duck hunts and South Dakota pheasant hunts. They’ve been killing me with pics of piled-up waterfowl and flushing ground-birds. Not everybody can just take off for a week of bird hunting up north. Lucky for us, redfish aint the only things roaming our grass flats. Folks have been hunting marsh hens in coastal South Carolina for years and some of us feel obliged to carry on the tradition. In the fall, hunters push skiffs through flooded spartina grass hoping to jump groups of wary mud-chickens. These birds don’t flush until you’re right on top of them…kind of like a saltwater pheasant. Yeah its a close shot…and it seems like an easy one…but most bird hunters aren’t used to their quarry flushing that close. More shots are missed than you would expect. When a cold front pushes through during a fall flood tide, I can’t think of any better way to spend the afternoon. All you need is a hunting license and a migratory bird permit to hunt these birds…and the daily bag limit is pretty darn liberal. Get out an try to flush a few up.

Jay Nelson www.winyahguide.com