Last year I got to spend a little time grouse hunting in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and some surrounding public land. I didn’t get a grouse but we saw a couple and I enjoyed it enough that I tried my hand at a late season pheasant hunt in Minnesota that only yielded flushing two hens. Despite soaking wet and dangerously cold feet I was hooked on bird hunting.
On those few hunts I was carrying an old Winchester 1400 12 gauge pump that was heavy and not the best upland gun so I looked around and settled on a Stevens 555 Over-Under 20 gauge. The gun is crazy lightweight and shoots like a dream. Heading into this season I also met a local guy, Bryan, through Backcountry Hunters and Anglers that was willing to take me out to hunt with him and his Wire-haired Pointing Griffon Roody. Hunting with Bryan and Roody helped turn the tables in my favor and I bagged a Woodcock on some Wisconsin public land. Despite it’s small size, it’s a fascinatingly beautiful little bird and contrary to what many may tell you, they’re delicious. After a few more outings I was able to connect on a beautiful Pheasant. That one bird made some amazing Pheasant Pot Pie Soup as well as stock that will be used in Pheasant chili and various other dishes!
Not that I’m any sort of expert on treestand hunting whitetails but learning a completely new style of hunting for a totally different type of animal is incredibly fun and exciting. I’ve found after spending most of my life hunting whitetails from trees more active styles of hunting are really grabbing my attention. Additionally watching a well trained dog work is one of the coolest and most entertaining things around. Over the last few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of going on several hunts with Roody and Bryan as well as another fellow BHA’er Ryan with his German Shorthaired Pointer Daly.
The other aspect of upland hunting I’ve come to enjoy is the sheer volume of public land that’s open for bird hunting here in Wisconsin. Between Waterfowl Production Areas and Wildlife Management Areas there’s an absolute ton of opportunity to get out after some birds. Of course those aren’t the only types of land open to hunting, they’re just the most prevalent in my area.
This post is short but it serves as warning, if you’ve followed along for any amount of time the blog has been almost exclusively about bowhunting deer. This post will kick off quite a few posts focusing on upland hunting, cooking birds and the gear that makes it a little more comfortable.