Many people think of upland game birds and think only of pheasant and quail. Although those are two of the popular birds among those with upland nft game bird dogs, prairie chickens, chukka partridge, grouse and turkey all offer challenges.
There’s little quite as exciting as hearing a ring neck pheasant turn to a crisp fall day in the Midwest or plains states.
Although there are many types of pheasant, most consider the ring neck the most identifiable as a game bird.
A local of Asia they’re found near woods, farmland and often near wetland. Once very popular the pheasant was uncomfortable by lack of home when gardening practices changed.
Because they are wary of humans, the use of dogs to find and point the birds greatly increases the odds of getting birds. They can be erratic and fly for short distance, but will run well also.
Due to efficiency many states allow only the roosters, with colorful green heads and beautiful feathering on the body, to be collected.
Bobwhite quail are another ground dwelling bird, smaller than the pheasant but like them challenged with home.
Common near pine or hardwood stands especially where there are creeks or other water source and fields for food, these quail form “coveys” or groups of 5-30 birds. Quail Forever is but one organization developed to address this.
Several types of grouse are also worth including in a discussion of upland game birds. Sooty Grouse, Dusky Grouse, Spruce Grouse and Siberian Grouse are all large grouse that live in the highland areas of America.
The Rocky Mountain range, Pacific Region ranges and Sierra Nevada areas are home for the Dusky and Sooty, respectively.
The Siberian grouse is considered uncomfortable, while the rest have healthy populations save for some decline due to home loss in California.
The Ruffed Grouse is a very popular bird in their range with bird dog owners. With a home of open areas, they spend most of their time in the grass but can suddenly blow up in flight if surprised.
This is a non-migratory bird found from the Appalachians across Canada to Alaska.
Chukka are not uncommon to use for bird dog training. A partridge that is somewhat to dry, open and sometimes hilly country, they will eat signs and some pestilence but prefer downy brome as a favored food.
Undisturbed prairie is a favored home of the greater Prairie Chicken. A member of the grouse family they have struggled with home loss.
Although they can get by in agriculture areas, they vastly choose the less alluring areas of the top of plains and, as those dwindle so does the greater Prairie Chicken.
Many are the turkey in hunting upland game birds, and although crafty and not as stupid as some say, they are not typically hunted with dogs.