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A question to all of you dedicated upland game hunters out there:

What do you consider to be the most challenging #1 upland game bird to hunt?

My pick would have to be the ruffed grouse.
 

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Yes I absolutely agree the ruffed grouse is "the king"! Where he lives and the long history of upland hunters before us only add to the King's reputation.
 

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I always love hunting Pheasants over pointing dogs, late season roosters have a college degree. Each bird has its strong and weak suits. Never hunted grouse but it sounds fun. Scott
 

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The Chukar is the king of brutal hunting. I'm talking about the real Chukar not the ones that come out of a box and get planted in a nice field. The real Chukar will run you up the side of a loose shale hill in trying to keep up with your pointer only to bust wild before the dog even gets close enough for a point. Then they have the gall to glide down the slope and up the side of another mountain where they line up and start 'laughing' at you. Guns take a beating, dogs wear their pads off and hunters get real sore and sometimes worse. Every now and then things go right and you get some shooting in - filled limits are fairly rare most years even when the bird numbers are decent. Forget the high buck small gauge SxS guns, this game calls for 12 gauge autos or pumps stoked with at least five rounds of heavy load #6 or bigger.
 

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Harley birds ! (Grouse of course)

Took my son for his first outing; he had never even seen one before. After a while of no birds, he said "I don't believe there is any such thing" and all of a sudden roooooaar as the bird took off safe and sound. I love walking them up.

We only get 1 flush per hour in tri cities NY area. Used to be many times that.

I hear they are better up north. thanks for the thread !
 

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Mr Grouse, without a doubt. Mr. Pheasant can really tick you off also,
but with the fall beauty of trees, crisp air and the flush of a Grouse,
He is King.

Birddog
 

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The Mourning Dove is considered a Migratory bird and not Upland Game. That is a reason I consider the Prairie Chicken one of the harder to hunt. The Prairie Chicken is a member of the Grouse gang but there are relatively few of them still out there. Doves and Chickens both fly in to a watering place in the evenings and then on to roosting/resting coverts. Little Dove is fast and small and takes a lot of ammo to learn to shoot them. Prairie Chickens are larger and a bit slower and some easier to hit. Any of the Grouse family are worthy opponents in the field.

Don T
 

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The ruffed grouse, in my opinion, is a dumb bird. The pheasant can be a challenge because of their running ability. Sharp-tailed grouse might be the wariest of them all when the weather gets cold and you might as well try pass shooting as they go to feed cause you aint walking up on them.

The chucker has the combination of smarts and tough mountain terrain and is no doubt the toughest bird to hunt because of it.

Lyle
 

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The Ruffed Grouse is king of the uplands. I've hunted chukar in the west and it is some kind of tough hunting. They will run uphill only to fly down while you and the dogs give chase! Lung busting even for the young at heart! That said, hunting Mr. Ruff in the steep mountains of WV is also a lung busting ordeal!! Been there and had a dose of that fun too many, many a time! Places so steep you literally have to crawl up the mountain!!

The most tenacious game bird I've hunted is the mighty little Gambles quail here in AZ, those lil guys can take a lickin and keep on tickin!! Ounce for ounce, he's tougher than the ringneck to make a clean kill on!!

HAP
 

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Personally I have found that the Philadelphia "Street Chicken" is a rare challenge...especially when the Boys in Blue are nearby!!!

Curt
 

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For me its obvious, pheasants are the king. The tenacity, deception and tactical maneuvers they employ have inspired me to bust snow drifts higher than my waist, enduring weather many water fowlers would stay home from, and allowed me to meet and become friends with many families.

You ain't never had a handful till you pull a rooster out of a snowdrift!
 

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My first Ruff,flush was in Hoosier National Forest---after I almost recovered,I shot two different trees---me,red faced--bird going somewhwere else,waiting for his next victim..

In the mid 70s,I was in Canada(Ontario--on Ivanho lake) for a fall bear hunt--first day in camp I decided to get some Ruffs for supper---pulled out my 1100,12ga----the guide asked me if I was a poor shot??"dont think so,why?"---he said most locals shoot them with .22s---------drive along the logging trails until you would see from one to a dozen of them "dusting"and gettin gravel for their craw---they would then shoot(somtimes)2,or three before they would dissapear into the brush...
Oh yah--dont bring the bird back to camp-pop the breast--leave the rest to the ravens and whiskey jacks ...

tallend
 

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You mean there are still grouse in Ohio? I've hunted them avidly for years from meigs to Ashtabula. I haven't flushed a grouse in three years now in Washington county driving deer. There was a day when you would have 30 flushes. The cover is still there. No birds. Are turkeys the problem?
 
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