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5 Tips For Hunting Upland Birds



It’s wingshooting season! Here’s how to get the jump on those wily upland birds.

1. Scout early and often: When hunting doves, remember that as weather changes and food sources diminish, the birds change flight and feeding patterns. Scouting for flocks of doves roosting in trees without leaves will tell you where they are gathering, and observing will often reveal where those birds are going for food or water. Quality binoculars aid in this effort. Remember also that dove hunting seasons are open beyond the opening day or weekend.

2. Pause often: When hunting upland species like ruffed and spruce grouse, walk slowly and pause often. During midday periods, these grouse often rest in trees and often times the birds will sit motionless and watch as you walk past. Pausing can cause the birds to panic and take flight—and reveal their presence. When you pause, be ready for action. Always remember to load your shotgun!

3. Open the bird’s crop: When you down the first dove or grouse, take a moment to open the bird’s crop and see what it has been feeding on. The materials found inside will provide a top clue on where to focus your hunting efforts.

4. When possible, use a dog. The only thing worse than missing a bird is killing or wounding a bird and not being able to recover it. This is where a good hunting dog shines! Good hunting dogs make unrecovered birds a thing of the past. If you do not have a dog, consider inviting a friend with a hunting dog to join you on your hunt.

5. Choose the right knife for your after-success chores. Buck Knives offers numerous knives that will meet the needs of hunters who need to breast-out or dress upland birds and mourning doves. The thinner blades like those on the 635 Paklite Cape Knife or the longer 636 Paklite Processor Knife can make the task of precision cuts along breast bones easier.


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