Upland Game Birds
Upland game birds a title from old making a difference.
This picture is from January 30th, my first and only pheasant hunt of the season. A great way to end the year and a special contentment watching my dog go in one day from pushing the pheasants too hard to slowly stalking before the point.
Enjoyed another great family outing on Thanksgiving morning! The birds were sparse, but my older son managed a nice mixed-bag in just a short three hour hunt. It made his turkey day and his smile says it all. Happy thanksgiving!!!
What is in a name we asked some time ago when we called ourselves Mid-America Game Bird Association.
That name reflected the four founding hunters that were quail hunters. The very start of the Association with the fundamental purpose for its existence, that to hunt game birds. In this case pheasants were lumped into quail. Although back then true dog hunting game bird hunters hunted quail only. Pheasants were left to other less sophisticated hunters.
Being a transplant to the central mid-west from a highly religious educational background of blue book test answers quite different than the multiple choice offered so much around here we were graded not only on the correctness of the answer, we were also graded on sentence structure, spelling and grammar in general. To write such common central mid-west colloquialisms well illustrated by making compound words such as whitetail, cottontail and gamebird would have made a passing grade a hard prospect.
Back home upland game birds were called simply "game birds" leaving out the "upland" piece.
In our case game birds meant to separate those that may be hunted from other birds such as song birds, yard birds (chickens – a southeastern colloquialism) or any other birds other than those that may be shot.
It was my uncles 50 year ahead of me that used the words “game birds”. It appears to be my generation that uses "upland birds". Who is correct is hard to say.
There are more upland birds than those we hunt. Game birds may be more accurate as its distinction is inclusive of all birds that may be hunted. Excluding all other birds that while present within a region are left to non-human predation.
In The Association's region Game Birds are pheasant and quail. Woodcock during the early season in Eastern Kansas and all of north Missouri are more common than the Prairie Chicken seen in this picture. Rumored Ruffed Grouse in north Missouri as the supposed Sharp-Tailed Grouse in Kansas have never been harvested by any one in this Association. Since Kansas allows fall turkey hunting with dogs and most of the dogs used are pheasant and quail hunting dogs there is an argument that turkeys are game birds as well.
Our current name, Mid-America Hunting Association. It reflects our recognition that while we may never forget our roots as upland bird (game bird) hunters we do offer and in fact had long before that name change offered other hunting. That other hunting even though it included other birds such as waterfowl and turkey was not perceived as such by those reading the game bird moniker. For when it comes to game birds most will agree it means uplands and even though uplands precludes wetlands and does include wooded turkey habitat, turkey were not considered part of the game bird hunting we offered. And, of course we have deer hunting, Mule and Whitetail.
For us we will remain as Mid-America Hunting Association. This in spite of the recent trend by some of the more costly upland bird hunting magazines touting such articles as upland game, upland game bird forecasts, on so on. Perhaps these editors are researching 50 to 75 year old articles trying to develop ever more "new" reading of a subject that has a far greater range of written word than actual reality. I can understand their motivation. It is tough to have something of relevance in a magazine other than one more "...there I was hunting..." story for readers to consume. But that is of little consequences as most magazines exist as justification for the paid advertisers
What's the Point
If there is a point to this article it is that we are Mid-America Hunting Association. Throughout our history we have offered private land hunting leases for the do it yourself hunter. In this case the self guided bird dog loving upland bird or game bird hunter. We seek hunters that want to simply enjoy the hunt rather than those that seek other than the tranquility of a good day in the field. We say this line of thought many times in this web site. Yet we still get calls form "hunters" wanting to know how many limits they will get. To those hunters my response is zero.
By the way I assume we can agree this upland game bird article is not like page filler articles in a magazine as we do not accept advertising.
I would like to thank you for helping me and my son get started in your club. As you might recall my first hunt did not turn out well but you encouraged me to keep trying. And we did as true hunters do. My 11 year old son had the time of his life. Plenty of shots at very smart birds. The birds were very smart with most of them out working our young dog but just the sight of them flushing was great. We were treated to quail, pheasants and deer everyday.
Thanks again for a great outdoor adventure, Mark & Jason
Thank you Mark and Jason for sharing your pictures. We hope some of them made it to your wall to brighten your day during the long summer to come!