BIRD HUNTS IN THE
“BIG SKY COUNTRY” OF CENTRAL MONTANA
upland season begins here in central Montana on September 1st
and runs through the end of the year. I
seldom take hunters after the end of November due to the possibility of adverse
weather. We offer combination
hunts for a number of different species, which include the Hungarian
partridges, sharptail grouse, mountain grouse, (including both blue and
ruffed), ring neck pheasant and limited sage grouse.
All our birds are from wild populations.
Expert guides, knowledgeable of the areas and certified by the state
will accompany you on all hunts. Two
hunters per guide is normal, although other special arrangements can be
made. These hunts do require a
fair amount of walking, but we will tailor each hunt to the abilities and
limitations of the hunter.
offer a three or four day fully guided and serviced hunt.
A beautiful spacious log lodge (see lodge) will house hunters and
includes some of the finest home cooked meals, served family style.
There is just no walking away from the table hungry.
Special dietary needs can be met with ample advance notice.
to the opening of the pheasant season, which begins the 2nd Saturday of
October, we focus on the other upland species available.
Hun and Sharptail hunting takes place on terrain that varies from
the high foothills of the mountains to the grain fields and native pastures
of the Great Plains. Although
the birds inhabit the same general areas they prefer different habitats.
You’ll find the huns, commonly know as the “gray partridge”, in
shorter cover where the sharptail take a liking to the more brushy or dense
sporting birds offer a tremendous opportunity to experience some really
great dog work as both species hold well to a point.
A covey of huns normally numbering from 10 to 22 will put even a
veteran shooter to the test with their quick rises and fast flight.
Their size is about twice that of a quail.
Sharptail, which are close to twice the size of huns and covey to
around 10, tend to jump up one or two at a time and fly much slower.
hunt for the mountain grouse finds us heading for a completely different
elevation and terrain. The
mountaintops and high ridges are where the majestic blue grouse calls home.
You will find these birds near juniper berries that are their main
source of feed. Early in
September you will discover that they love the wild strawberry.
upland birds thrive on the grasshopper as well as other insects due to the
high protein content. The
“blue” has been sometime been confused with the fool hen due to the
fact that they sometime can be foolish.
Believe me, once they become air born they can put the most
experienced shooter to the test. I’ve
seen this many times, but so can all these wild birds.
When it comes to table fare, it’s hard to beat these wonderful
we primarily pursue the blue grouse, there is also the opportunity to pick
up a few ruff grouse in the process. The
ruffs prefer a completely different habitat, but on occasion you will find
them up high on the mountains with the blues and occasionally visa versa.
We find a good concentration of ruffs down lower along the mountain
streams. My dogs love to hunt
the mountain grouse and we get to experience some great dog work.
Montana has some great pheasant habitat and a good number of wild birds.
With the opening of the season, we focus primarily on the ring neck.
We head to the river and creek bottoms and adjacent CRP fields where
the heavy cover holds the birds. We
work these birds up with dogs and don’t do any drives, although we do
some blocking to keep the wily pheasant from sneaking out ahead of us.
The huns and sharps live in and around this same habitat, which
enables us to harvest a few during these hunts.
also hunt the sage grouse on a limited basis. Their season begins on the
same date as the rest of the other upland birds, but ends on November 1st
due to fact that their numbers have been on the decline for the last number of
years. We hunt these birds only on special request on a trophy hunt
basis for those who may want to add this species to their collection.
We occasionally pursue these birds in a combination hunt together
with the huns and sharptail.
season begins in early October and runs through early January. The
most common duck taken in Central Montana is the mallard, which can number
well into the thousands during their southern migration.
they are a migratory bird and we never know when they will come through
the area, we don’t book "waterfowl only" hunts.
We can take advantage of the opportunity as they migrate though.
An early morning duck hunt, coupled with a pheasant hunt makes a
great day. In the early season
we harvest some of the “locals” before they head south. We occasionally
harvest a few of the greater Canadian Honkers as well.
offer a fine line of Brittany’s for you to hunt over.
They are acclimated to this environment and will provide you with
some quality points, retrievals, and backs.
There is nothing like bird hunting behind great dogs.
You are welcome to bring your own dogs. We do have kennels in
which to house them, but we do not allow dogs in the lodge.
the variety of different species of upland birds available to hunt, great
dog work, shooting opportunities, and the diversity of terrains to be
traversed, it just doesn’t get any better than this “unique Montana
those of you that may want to include an antelope in a hunt, we offer a
combination upland bird and antelope hunt.
Since both inhabit the same approximate areas we can hunt them at
the same time. What we require
is that you book a 4-day upland hunt at the normal rate.
I will have you apply for an antelope license (they are a draw
license) and if successful in obtaining one then we would hunt both.
I would charge an extra $50/day for the days that we actually hunt
antelope. If you were
successful in getting an antelope I would charge a $600 trophy fee.
If you were successful in getting a shot and missed I would charge
you $300. We have been very
successful in this hunt in the past and have taken nice antelope along with
a mess of bird. If you were
unable to draw an antelope license then this would become an upland bird