To kick off spring, 2020, check out the Dancing Springs Ranch Sharptails Dance.
Go here to learn more about these fascinating birds: sharp-tail grouse
Rough grouse populations have not been doing well in Pennsylvania for a while now, and other states are seeing similar drops in their grouse populations. Watch this video to see some of the thinking behind why this is going on.
To learn more, read: Ruffed Grouse Decline and Their Future in the Keystone State
This video captures the thrills and excitement of pheasant hunting in South Dakota. Check it now. The flush at 1:52 is just plain awesome. Chasing Pheasants in Fresh Snow – South Dakota 2019
The Gun Nuts over at Field & Stream are full of insights and information. In this video, Phil Bourjaily, one of the nuts (the right one?) and Shotgun Editor for the main magazine, gives you some tips on how to be a better shot.
I make mistakes #3 and #4 all the time. Which ones do you have problems with?
If you like bird dogs and bird hunting, here’s a preview for a film. The film playing across the country this February. I’m going to see it on the 12th. Here’s more about it from the Project Upland site:
“Earlier this year, Project Upland Magazine in collaboration with Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, joined together to tell the story of our beloved #PublicGrouse. The idea was simple: capture the people, places, and birds that make the story of grouse and public lands in North America so important to us. We sought to celebrate the truth that without public lands we would not know any of the grouse species in the capacity we do. They are a part of our culture, the fabric of American grouse hunting…”
Why shoot with a SxS shotgun? In this film from Project Upland, Joel Penkala tell you why: The History and Legacy of Side by Side Shotguns – A Grouse Hunting Tradition
“For Joel Penkala, Marketing Manager of Griffin and Howe, the idea of a legacy shotgun has personally come alive through the pages of grouse hunting classics. At its core, it is simply the shotgun that is truly worthy of being passed down from one generation to the next, a proven and treasured implement that will continue to not only meet but will exceed the demands of upland covers across time and space.”
To help support the future of ruffed grouse and American woodcock join the Ruffed Grouse Society.
Monday, October 21th – Friday, October 25th, 2019
We are extremely excited to share with you the details for a new shoot at Finca Fuentelfresno, located along the Eastern edge of the Cordilla Central Mountain Range, approximately forty-five minutes northeast of Madrid. This will be a traditional partridge shoot, and all shooting will be conducted within the confines of the Estate, with different drives every day. This is truly a rare and unique opportunity. Let us know soon if you are interested in this elegant and all things Spanish driven shooting experience!
Best, Sean and Liz Delaney
Fuentelfresno consists of 35,000 acres of ground filled with olive groves, almond trees, vineyards, farmland, and rolling hills, all providing excellent habitat with perfect topography for a traditional shoot. Birds are driven by a team of up to forty beaters over narrow valleys for the guns waiting below. We will shoot three back-to-back 400 bird days. This is challenging shooting in a breathtaking setting!
We will spend the entire week at Finca Fuentelfresno as the guests of Carlos de Llanza Mala, its current custodian. The Lodge, which was built by Carlos’ father about sixty years ago, manages to be rustic and elegant at the same time, a perfect setting for a shooting party. All rooms are en suite and comfortable, with excellent views of the gardens and the landscape beyond. The Main Lounge has a pair of beautiful fireplaces, a perfect spot for a sundowner. Our team will have exclusive use of the premises, and all of our meals will be prepared in-house by our chef Anna. The food is beyond compare.
Shoot Price – $9,750
Includes: Transportation to and from Madrid airport and throughout the week, three days of driven shooting (with an anticipated bag of 400 birds per day), lodging at the elegant Fuentelfresno, guns (if needed) and ammunition, traditional tapas and shoot lunches on the estate, gourmet dinners each evening, alcohol, game licenses, liability insurance, and gun permits (for your guns or ours).
Excludes: Flights, gratuities to chargor (loader) and secretario (€80 each per day), and gratuities to hotel staff (€100 total).
Non-Shooting or Peg-Sharing Spouses: Non-shooting spouses are welcome to join us for an additional $1,750. This includes four nights’ lodging, all meals, alcohol, and ground transportation. Two days of sightseeing. Spouses are welcome to share pegs on some or all days for the same rate.
“This family shoot (Finca Fuentelfresno) is favoured by many of the royal houses of Europe and King Juan Carlos, although no longer young, still takes 6 days during the year when he comes, either with friends and family, or as a guest of friends. The photos displayed in the lodge go from Caroline of Monaco (who on a yearly basis takes a team of ladies to shoot with her), to Dutch Crown Prince William Alexander van Oranje, and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg …”
Frederick Robinson, 2nd Marquess of Ripon was one of the UK’s most famous game shots. In his lifetime, he bagged more than 500,000 birds, plus countless hares and other animals. and he shot Purdey hammerguns, including this one shown here: J Purdey & Sons, a RARE 12-BORE HAMMER EJECTOR GUN, NO. 14981, BUILT IN 1895 FOR LORD RIPON (AS EARL DE GREY).
Sports Illustrated published a piece about Lord Ripon way back 1972. An excerpt is below, along with links to the entire article. It’s an interesting read and worth checking out.
IN A LIFETIME OF WARFARE AGAINST THE WINGED KINGDOM, LORD RIPON DOWNED MORE THAN 500,000 BIRDS
“At the top of the hill a pair of liveried Yorkshire gamekeepers whacked hard with their sticks at the tight thorn-bushes of the hedgerow. Fifty yards away, in a hollow, stood the owner of the land, with his shooting companion, the local vicar. As the keepers moved forward, there was a flap of bright wings, a shot, and the quarry spun to the ground. Then another type of prey emerged, flying low and fast toward the waiting guns. Again a clean kill. So, at the end of the drive, one butterfly and one bumblebee were solemnly added to the day’s bag …”
Read all of THE GAME HOG OF DALLOWGILL
The more I hear about temperatures rising across the globe, the more I worry about how these changes will impact the upland game birds we love to hunt. This piece from Project Upland touches on how on what’s might happen to one species to sharp-tailed grouse. It’s worth checking — and keeping in mind when it’s to vote for local, state, and national politicians.
The author writes: “I reviewed several studies from prominent sharp-tailed grouse researchers and agency reports to get a clearer picture of this very real issue. I encourage you to keep an open mind and read through the whole article below before making any preliminary judgments.”
Bobwhite quail are not one of a America’s conservation success stories. Over the last 30-40 years, their populations have collapsed throughout the south and across the southwest. Fortunately, some people, and some state agencies and working hard to try and these birds back. I hope they’re successful.
“For many, the bobwhite quail is a symbol of their youth in the South. Small game is often where many cut their teeth in the hunting world. Adam Keith, wildlife consultant, ventures back into his past to take a journey into the public lands of Missouri with state biologist Frank L. Loncarich and Kyle Hedges.” WatchFighting Back – A Bobwhite Quail Film by Project Upland now.
I’ve always wanted to shoot in the UK — but not for driven birds. Instead, I want to go rough shooting, which is what you see in this video.
Nick Ridley is the U.K.’s leading dog photographer. He’s also bird hunter, dog trainer, and a lover of cocker spaniels.
For years now, he and his Circle of Trust Rough Shooting Syndicate have been making videos of their shooting adventures throughout the UK. The one above shows them in Bedfordshire hunting pheasants and chukars in terrain that looks a lot like the northeastern US. As always, Nick shoots well and his cocker spaniel Ted does a great job.
I’ve hunted upland birds from Maine to Montana, but I’ve been further west to go after chukars. After watching this great new film from Project Upland, I’m not sure I want to try. Here’s a bit about the film from the PU site:
“Hell’s Canyon has a reputation for being hard on its guests. Chukar have a more infamous track record as being the pursuit of the insane. It is said that “The first chukar you shoot is for fun; all others after that are for revenge.” The allure of both these difficult propositions brought Anthony Ferro on a bird hunting road trip to challenge himself and his German shorthaired pointers.
The title Revel in the First comes from Anthony’s passion for first-time experiences. Whether it’s a first bird species, a dog’s first point, a new challenge defeated (or not), the first has a passion like no other time after.”
BTW: Check out Project Upland’s new magazine, too. It’s coming out soon. For a LIMITED TIME subscribers receive Volume Zero/Issue Zero, (Ships November 1, 2018) and our regular delivery of our the quarterly publication for TWO years (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter) with Volume One/Issue One shipping on March 1, 2019. Plus The Bird Hunting Anthology – Volume No. 1
Quick: What’s the #1 game bird in the US?
Quail? Nope. Pheasants? Nah.
It’s the mourning dove, and this year hunters across 42 states will bag more than 20 million of them.
If your state allows dove hunting (mine doesn’t), here’s a quick guide to how to find birds.
Hunting dogs can be frustrating, exhilarating, and, when they leave us, heartbreaking.
This video introduces you a lab named Sam and a duck hunter named Steve Koehly. I learned something from both of them. They may teach you something, too.
Warning: If you don’t want to be seen with wet eyes, don’t watch at work.
Safari Club International’s Annual Hunters’ Convention is an crazy event. Part travel show, gun show, and expensive-stuff bazaar, it puts hundreds of vendors and thousands of people under one roof for four days of planning, gawking, and big-money spending.
Want to book an African safari, order a new Boss OU shotgun, get fitted for a tweed shooting suit, and pick up a $25,000 fur coat all in one afternoon? Then it’s the place to be.
This year’s event was as at the Las Vegas Convention Center. I was there Friday & Saturday, and here’s a bit of what I saw. Scroll down to see all the pics