Upland Hunting Woodcock and Bob White Quail
Winter can bring tough fishing with cold and wind so we often exchange flats boats and fishing rods for shotguns and bird dogs. Walking the uplands and creek bottoms in pursuit of Woodcock. Woodcock are a migratory game bird that fly south when things freeze to our north. Typically we start seeing good numbers of woodcock the first week of December. These russet colored long billed birds prefer young forest habitat and boggy bottoms where they can probe for earth worms. The American Woodcock is a unique bird and pursuing them is steeped in tradition. Our season in South Carolina is short and runs from December 18th – January 31st. With a limited days we dedicate as much time in the field as possible.
These small camouflage birds hold well for pointing dogs and when flushed fly hard and fast! Quick handling shotguns like the 20 gauge , 28 or even 410 are the ideal Woodcock guns. Open chokes like Cylinder, skeet or improved cylinder are best paired light game loads. I prefer #8’s from RST Shot shells for small game birds like Woodcok.
I hunt with an America Brittany named ” Bud”. Bud has proven to be one heck of a bird dog and hunting partner. His drive and intestiy on and around wild birds is incredable and he’s an absolute pleasure to watch work. Charles Norris said it best “Without a dog , upland shooting is a poor, drab, lonesome, and generally unsatisfactory business. Much of the joy of shooting is dependent upon the companionship of a favorite dog”.
If you have never had the pleasure of hunting behind a well trained gun dog you need to add it o your bucket list!