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Upland Hunting

September 21, 2021 3 min read

Upland Hunting

“Upland hunting is the practice of hunting upland game birds.” This is an American term, and it mostly occurs in groups. The average group consists of 2-4 hunters with 1-2 dogs.

Upland Birds:

Upland birds is an American term for the non-waterfowl terrestrial birds.


There are about nine species of upland game birds, and these are

  • Pheasants

  • Chukar

  • Snipe

  • Hungarian partridge

  • Valley (California) quail

  • Mountain quail

  • Ruffed grouse

  • blue grouse

  • Sage-grouse

  • Wild turkey

Some of the game birds are described below,


It belongs to the pheasant family and is medium-sized, and the most common is the gray partridge. It prefers the farmlands as its habitat and mostly feeds on seeds and insects, and builds nests in the high grasses.


Columbia and Snake River Basin are the best locations to hunt the best partridge.


They are the large ground birds with feathers on their toes, and in winters, they grow feathers to their feet so they may walk in snow.


West of the Cascades, the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon, the south Warner Mountains, and the Klamath Basin are perfect locations for ruffed grouse and blue grouse.


One of the most populous game birds around the World. There are many varieties of quail, and two of them are valley quail and mountain quail.

The places to look for the quail are Chicago and east of the Cascades.


Due to its natural camouflaging, elusive behavior, and erratic flight pattern, long-billed marshland dwellers are a challenge to sport-hunters and are most often hunted at night.



The oldest and most populous game birds are pheasants. The males have bold plumage and bright colors, while females are dull colored.


Columbia Basin, Owyhee River drainages, and Malheur River are the eastern Oregon agricultural areas for pheasant hunting.


Chukar is one of the most challenging birds to hunt as it can run uphill. Malheur, Snake River, the lower Deschutes, John Day rivers, Hart, Trout Creek Mountains are the best locations for chukar.



Upland birds are mostly present in underground cover, on the landmarks, in open fields, deserts, and above the Highmark of water bodies. 


The one thing that makes upland hunting so popular is the variety of locations you can hunt for upland birds.

Upland birds are present throughout the United States the location matters for the specific bird you want to hunt,

  • Eastern/Northeast — forest grouse

  • South/Southeast — bobwhite quail

  • North Central Tier — forest grouse

  • West — partridge, quail

  • Intermountain West — partridge, sage-grouse, prairie grouse

  • Midwest/Prairie — pheasants, prairie grouse

Equipment for Upland Hunting:

The best equipment for upland hunting is the shotgun, 

  • Break-action single-shots

  • Semi-automatics

The hunters frequently use both of them; however, the quintessential shotgun for upland hunting is a double-barrel shotgun with a gauge setting of 16-, 20- or 28.

Upland Game techniques:

Upland game hunting involves walking through and capturing the birds. The following techniques might be helpful 

  • The knowledge about the feeding and habitat of upland game birds takes your hunting adventure to the next level.

  • It needs practice. Don’t be afraid to try it on your own, but go with someone experienced.

  • Take a trained hunting dog with you. There are two types of hunting dogs,


Pointers are retrievers; they give the hunters some extra time to approach the bird.


This breed will chase the birds until they flush.

Upland Hunting Safety Measures:

It would help if you were careful about the safety measures, 

  • Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.

  • Be sure of your target and what is in front of it and beyond it.

  • Keep your finger outside of the trigger guard until ready to shoot.

  • Keep your firearm’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction.

  • Wear blaze orange.

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