The locations and species for upland bird hunting in North America seem endless. To help you get ready for your best bird season ever, we rounded up 6 great bird hunting trips and info you need to make them happen. From tactics and dogs to guns and loads, here’s how to get primed for the coming upland season.
1) Dixie Duo
Species: Doves and Bobwhite Quail
Best Bet: Experience old-time quail hunting in the piney woods at Blackwater River State Forest WMA in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties in Florida’s Panhandle. Co-managed by the Florida Forest Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the WMA consists of more than 170,000 acres of rolling hills and drainages lined with titi thickets. The topography is characterized by vast stands of longleaf pines, wiregrass, and other wild grasses, and an understory of oaks and dogwoods. Routine prescribed burnings help forbs and grasses flourish. The 8,000-acre Apalachee WMA, two hours east on I-10 in Jackson County, is a miniature version of the Blackwater. A bonus here: about 300 acres of managed dove fields. Florida has a number of good dove fields within its WMA system, especially in the Panhandle, but its statewide Dove Club is unique. It consists of six “special opportunity” dove fields that are planted with choice dove grub like sunflowers, milo, and millet. It costs $150 to join the club and be able to participate in a hunt every other Saturday, provided you’re lucky enough to have your name drawn. Draw hunts are available for $35 per day.