There are those who say that they would never hunt birds without a dog. That watching their dog work is the reason that they bird hunt. Not me!! I love my dogs as much as anyone on this site loves their's, but I go for the birds and the places they lead me.
Primarily due to housing limitations, I've spent almost as many years bird hunting without a dog as with. And if future circumstances dictate, I'll bird hunt without a dog again. In fact, when it's too hot or my dogs are simply too tired to hunt, I still continue to hunt without them. I love bird hunting too much to not go because I don't have canine company.
Dogs locate birds from scent, I locate birds from understanding. A guy just doesn't go into an area cold and shoot multiple limits of birds based on his dog's ability to scent birds. A successful hunter has to know where to put his dog's down and when to pick them up. And you don't develop that kind of understanding by sitting in camp or at home waiting for the temps to moderate or injuries to heal. You learn from boots on the ground. I have located many, many bird rich areas to return to with my dogs, while hunting without them.
I'll post a few phenomenal bird hunting days while dogless that few hunters could duplicate with the best dogs.
I plan to keep learning and exploring with or without a bird dog and admire those of you who do the same. So let's hear your dogless bird hunting stories!