What Is Upland Hunting?
Now that you're psyched to get in the field and hunt birds, let's talk about where you'll be going. Basically, there are two areas to focus on: the wetlands and the uplands.
The definition of "wetlands" is obvious: swamps, marshes, land along rivers or lakes that's often under water or flooded, etc. Basically, land that's usually wet.
"Uplands" is not as intuitive. So, what is it? The smart-alecky answer is "The area between lowlands and highlands". More precisely (and according to Wikipedia), "Upland is generally considered to be land that is at a higher elevation than the alluvial plain or stream terrace, which are considered to be lowlands." OK, so that helps a bit.
It's all about the birds
A better way to think about this is to consider the types of birds you'll pursue as an "upland" hunter. The big four are:
Along with these four, there are other "upland" species people pursue, including: Chukar partridge and Blue grouse in mountainous parts of the west; Hungarian partridge and Sharptail grouse in the Dakotas, into Montana and in parts of Canada; And across the Southwest other quails like Scaled, California, Gambel's and Mearn's.
Where you'll find birds
That's a lot of birds. To find them, you'll have to explore a lot of different terrain. Here's a crash course on where to hunt each one:
Of course, the only real way to learn where to find these birds is to get out there and look for them yourself. If you have a mentor, ask them to introduce to some likely looking spots. Whenever you flush a bird, make note of where you find out, the time of day and types of plants and cover in the area. Over time, you'll gain the experience to spot prime locations and have more success in the field.
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