That bird that flew straight up was hit in the head (or possibly the heart). I hit a quail that flew straight up, then it did a full loop and landed 3 feet behind me. If they head for the heavens, they are generally dead in the air. Just my experience...SureShot said:No. Those are just your run-of-the-mill 2 3/4" shells packed with 6 shot...but it does bring up a good question about how big is big enough for the devil birds.
The first bird I shot on Friday came up as part of a small covey that flushed from above me. Part of the covey went down past me to the left and over the ridge, while two of the birds flared off to the right. I swung on the first of the two that went to my right and shot as it passed me (about 20 yards). Instead of going right down, it just kind of paused in mid-air flapping its wings furiously and then slowly started lifting straight up. Instead of going for the second bird (which I wanted to do), I came back on the first and put another round in it to put it down.
The second bird I got on Friday came up by itself. After firing one warning shot, I hit it on the second shot at about 35-40 yards, quartering away and down a steep ravine. It crumpled immediately and hit the ground dead as a door nail.
I remember a bird last year that I shot as it flushed right below me at the top of a big steep hill. When I shot, it dropped a leg and set its wings and glided down the hill until it was just a spec about 200 yards away. I thought I saw a flurry of wings and then it landed. I was almost back to the truck after a long walk and wasn't very excited about dropping off that steep hill, but I did anyway. When I got down there, my dog pointed and there was the bird dead. That was a pretty cool recovery and I gained a new respect that day for how much abuse these little devils can take.