So what is everyone's favorite upland game bird to hunt?

Randomshot

Member
Feb 12, 2012
655
4
18
Lakeside, CA
With most upland game bird seasons opening just around the corner I'd like to pose the question what is your favorite species to hunt? Personally mine will have to be Mearns quail. Mearns from my experiences are one of the tightest holding birds I have ever encountered. I would not describe them as being quicker on the wing than other quail but they will fly into the first patch of thick dense cover that they can get to. Due to this charicteristic I have found myself shooting more trees and brush than birds on certain occasions. They will also fly at and over you which is different from most birds. Mearns will also give you a chance to show off your shooting skills since most shots are quick snap shots and follow up shots are rare (depending on cover). Add to that the fact that they are one of the prettiest quail species and do not disappoint at the dinner table and you have my reasoning behind them being my pick. Now let's hear yours..

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NBK

Trying to be the man my dog thinks I am.
Mar 8, 2011
8,478
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San Diego, Ca.
I would have to say that I enjoy any kind of quail hunting for a few reasons. They are very challenging, they require work to pursue, they fly fast, they erupt from areas you least expect and they taste good.

When we had a good population of mountain quail here in San Diego county (1970's early 1980's) that was the hunt for me. But again - I like em' all!

Great post Random!
 

Snake Charmer

Happiness is a warm gut pile
Oct 13, 2011
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San Diego
www.highonkennels.com
I with you on the Mearns, you need a real bird dog to hunt them, they hold well and are a good shooting challenge. Unfortunately with the drought the numbers have not been that great in the past couple years, hopefully we're going to give a try this year but I'm not expecting great things. Hopefully we'll some better weather this coming year.
 

NBK

Trying to be the man my dog thinks I am.
Mar 8, 2011
8,478
1,631
113
San Diego, Ca.
Talked with an AZ biologist yesterday and he said the rain has been there all year and the quail are doing great. Can I go? I have a real bird dog... ???
 

josecasillas

If it flies it dies, if it hops it drops....
Apr 24, 2012
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san diego
I'm with u John! I love quail hunting. Once the season opens, i'll be posting some good quail pics.
 

Randomshot

Member
Feb 12, 2012
655
4
18
Lakeside, CA
Snake Charmer said:
I with you on the Mearns, you need a real bird dog to hunt them, they hold well and are a good shooting challenge. Unfortunately with the drought the numbers have not been that great in the past couple years, hopefully we're going to give a try this year but I'm not expecting great things. Hopefully we'll some better weather this coming year.
In addition to the drought many areas in AZ had freezing conditions and many birds were lost. I know the 10 and 11 seasons had very low numbers. I don't plan on making the trip this year due to this. Hopefully they will make a full recovery and next year will be better.
 

Aeon

just a dude who duck hunts
Feb 16, 2011
3,456
2,249
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well it is just upland and something to do till the ducks show up but i do love to kill wild pheasants in great numbers :)

 

BuckHunter

“Venison” It’s what’s for dinner!
Feb 3, 2011
2,022
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Valley Quail and pheasants for me.

Where do the Mearns quail live?
 

Randomshot

Member
Feb 12, 2012
655
4
18
Lakeside, CA
Fred / John I talked to a buddy of mine Rick that runs Sweet Sixteen Quail today. He said that the numbers are down but he is still seeing coveys of mature birds. He lives in Mearns Quail country and has the opportunity to see them daily. The season opens on Dec 7 this year instead of the day after Thanksgiving. After talking with Rick I might make a run at it this year after all.
 

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