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 Central Montana Bird Hunting   

Our 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. 

Central Montana Bird HuntingWe 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.

Prior 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 vegetation.   

Central Montana Bird HuntingThese 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. 

The 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.

Central Montana Bird HuntingAll 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 blues.

As 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.


Central Montana Bird HuntingCentral 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. 

We also hunt the sage grouse on a limited basis. Their season begins October 1st and 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.

Central Montana Bird HuntingWaterfowl 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.

Because 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.

We 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. With 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 hunting experience?.  


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Peter B. Rogers
6352 Pioneer Road
Moccasin, MT  59462
(406)-423-5332 ~ E-mail: pete@pigeye.com