Drahthaar Retreives Bear!

Here retreiving a shot Seal in Iceland


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Airedale Killed And Eaten By Wolf


Article by Andrew McKean

Photo by Outdoor Life Online Editor
Too Many Wolves

“We have too many wolves, and they have depleted their natural prey to such an extent that they’re seeking alternative food sources,” says Galloway, who operates a fishing and hunting lodge about 70 miles north of La Ronge. Galloway had his own wolf incident last fall. His 70-pound Airedale was killed and consumed by a wolf just 30 feet from his cabin door.

“That wolf was starving. It ate all but the ribcage and part of a hindquarter,” says Galloway.”

Ive been saying it for 6 months now.
Airedales are not closers!! They will not pull fur.

I can get any pound mutt cur to bark at vermin..

Dog owner said: I keep the dog away from the cats and the coyotes he finds the ones on drags. He gives the coyotes a bunch of respect. every once in a while you will have one that will get after him on stand when denning. You do not want the dog to tear into them, you eventually get sick of doctoring them up.

Barking at 3 legged cat

Wont close on small fox with neck offered

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Hardness Testing-HN

‘ VZPO says the following: 2. Toughness Certification {Härtenachweis}(/) (1) The legal destroying of predators…in the framework of game protection is first and foremost the obligation of the hunter with a gun. However, it is considered Ethical hunting, if the hunting dog has Seized and immediately Dispatched a Predator before it was possible to shoot the predator with a firearm. In addition to Field work-(Pointing, manners on game, use of nose et al), Water work-blind and marked retrieves, Retrieving reliability- testing of distance- a 300+ meter retrieves of duck and rabbit on land, Tracking work on wild rabbit and use of nose in the Natural ability test, Hip, Eye, Bite evaluations and conformation testing, EVERY Deutsch Drathaar bred everywhere in the world, and registered via VDD, must be Hardness Certified. This means it successfully engaged, closed on and dispatched a fanged vermin: usually an adult Raccoon, but can include a Badger, Fox, Coyote or a Feral Cat, in front of a judge in the field while Hunting.This is a MINIMUM Certification for breeding.  It is Pass/Fail. In addition to the above, there is also special elective certification for Hog Baying or Sau Jager, completely separate from Hardness testing (HN).  Photos of both are available below.  Hogs are comparable in size to those in USA Hog Bay contests, from 140-200# pounds, clubs vary in the choice of grounds and hogs, catching such as done by Pits, Dogos and Bulldogs is penalized, gritty baying such as our Catahoula types do,  is prized.


Catching Hogs is illegal in Germany with dogs….

As such, the testing has changed to baying.  Sau Jager Testing Below.

Sau Jager Testing



Cattle Dog





Testing Clubs In Germany (SJ) Tests may have slight variances


2 Drahthaars, a Munsterlander, and a Heide Terrier-Jagd crossbreed


Yugoslavian Hounds, a Gascon and Drahthaar far right

Drahthaar with dispatched badger

There are More extensive tests often done for Overnight 20/40hr blood tracking, Retrieving reliability and searching, that are usually performed by at least one breeding pair in a VDD litter. Boar Hunter test certification is SJ or Saujager/Saugatter.  Saujager testing is similar to US Hog bay contests, where extended contact/catching is discouraged. Hogs used are approximately 150-200lbs as seen above. Evaluations are done over 5 minutes in a 4-5 acre pen. Agility, Intelligence, and intense baying are judged, though this separate test category, and  has nothing to do with HN/ Hardness testing. Evaluating the dog and teaching the dog ‘manners’ through this exposure with boar,  is valuable in the woods.

DD and monster boar

HN Certification is not for gratuitous sick or cruel sport, or for boasting purposes or intentionally putting the dog in harms way, but for practical and ethical hunting purposes, as licensed hunters, for all of these vermin are game bird nest raiders and predators. Their removal is vital to sound eco-management. Why Hardness testing?  Take a look below…


A sniffer and a barker

Waiting for the calvary I guess.

Airedale stares at 3 legged trapped bobcat

A few other German breed start up clubs have similar but not identical rules regarding full dispatch, which is disappointing but will likely change with amended translations of rules.  HN test/ hardness certification also tells one of the temperment of the dog and his ability to overcome adversity, and translates into a better hunting breed when conditions require mental toughness. There are no other breeds that require such testing of their dogs, except for the Dogos bred in Argentina. LACK of Hardness is quite evident when we see Airedales even from hunting lines, that will Not close on fur, as seen in the photos below:

Better send a Jagd or bulldog to pull fur

3 legged bobcat. Airedale waits for Calvary & reinforcements

Airedales of StrongbowCoon

German Jagd Terrier fighting a badger.

Jagd Terrier vs Bobcat

Drahthaars are known for their vermin hardness in closing. Big boar coon

Dale Wont close on half dead coyote neck exposed..

Dorn airedale and a trapped fox, barker not closer.

Hope this Airedale is neutered

A Bobcat that didnt tree and 2 Jagds

Very much alive coyote with DD/GWPs finishing and dispatching as good hunting dogs should do.



Papas proud. Good team of Teckel & Drahthaar




Proper Hardness means common sense in baying dangerous game like bear, here learning manners.. An Especially hard Drahthhar used after the shot to track and close on Russian Wolves if necessary.

3 Catahoula Curs thought to be ‘gritty’ barking, not closing on a small to medium sized cornered coon. Send in the 18# German Jagd!

Bravest of 3 Catahoula Curs barks closer but will not pull fur and dispatch. This is NOT Hardness.

This is Hardness on Vermin. Close, Engage, and Dispatch. Drahthaar

Catching Hogs is ILLEGAL in Germany thanks to the Marxists the Third Reich fought against in WW2, and now ruling out of Belgium and London.Read and see more here:



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Teckels- Working Dachshunds

Not your mothers weiner dogs…they are Working dogs!!

The dog pictured is of the leggier variety, looks like a Teckel should.

Bred for Work, Going to ground, trailing, dispatching or holding if necessary.

Leggier variety to work

Working Teckels are Not small by any means..

Baying Sau

Low to ground, deep noses and good ‘line’ manners. Xcellent tracking game recovery dogs

Jean, of Born To Track, has well over 800 documented recoveries with his teckels for deer and bear wounded and otherwise lost by archers..

Bear recovery

Teckel With Drahthaar

Days catch of varmits: Coons and chucks

Impressive teeth and jaws

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Versatile Hunting Dogs and Breeding To Working Standards

An Example of Change in form and function: Old Bull Terrier

Old Style Airedale

Vs Todays modern monstrosity.
Who would feed a dog that requires this much grooming, post hunt cleaning, lack of drive and hardness?

“Without clear standards, all breeding and judging of exhibition livestock would come down to a simple matter of opinion.”

Breed: A group of animals whose phenotype (the way individuals look) sets it apart from
others of the same species.

Standardized Breeds: Members of a breed are expected to show great uniformity in
breed type and performance. Animals must be registered. Genetic diversity is reduced.
A standard is about production and performance levels.
Pushing for maximum production/performance has proven detrimental to other animal
populations, such as seen with trial Pointers and their now evident inherant physical issues.

“Posted by Yawallac (R.Calloway- Field Trial Enthusiast) on Feb. 10 2013,11:19 Upland Journal
I’m hoping that if I combine size with animation I will reduce the chance for injury, particularly ACL injuries that seem to be becoming so common. I am trying to get strong supporting bone and tissue that will keep them sound. We’ll see.”

Breeding To Standard is what gave us the Worlds Finest Performance Working & Sporting dogs.

This list includes the Fighting American Pit Bull Terrier-Game testing To Standard, Working German Shepherd-Schutzhund, The Dutch Shepherd-KNPV, Belgian Malinois-KNPV & Mondio French Ring, Rottweiler-Schutzhund, Doberman-SchH, Reisenschnauzer-SchH, Bouvier- FR, Mondio, KNPV, Boxer-SchH, Labrador Retriever- Nahra, UKC HRC, Drahthaar-JGHV, Kurzhaar-JGHV, Pudelpointer-JGHV, Munsterlander-JGHV, Weimaraner, Jagd Terrier, Teckel. Even Australian Cattle Dogs, Dogos.

Czech Working Bred German Shepherd

A Working Standard bred GSD VS. A Sport Trial Conformation GSD
SchH was once a Standard Police & Breeding Test with Real Stick hits, live gunfire, 8′ Jumps, Bite suits. Now its a sleeve chasing contest done after WW2 to recast Germanys image and for Conformation chasing idiots.

US Military & Police Depts all use Standard Bred Dogs

The famous fighting Pitbull & Grand Champion ‘Going Light Barney’

Working German Weimaraner

AKC Breeding and trial testing has removed the ‘hunt’ from Weims such as this German dog above.


Having Performance standards is the essence of any sound breeding practice in livestock, from chicken layers to meat goats, milk cows to beef cows, to hunting and working dogs for over a century!  When any one attempts to discredit any such standard breeding as ‘minimum’ testing, that person has never achieved such honors in any testing environment, is lazy, dishonest and a shyster. It is essentially the only way to test and breed stock.

What is a breed standard and why is it neccessary?
by Stephanie S. Hedgepath

All dogs, with the exception of the toy breeds, were fashioned for a specific kind of work in order to ease man’s burden. When man first domesticated the dog, all that was needed was a dog that would carry out the required task with the most efficiency. What form the dog took was of little consequence.
As time went on and dogs were used for more specialized purposes, distinct breeds began to emerge. The individual characteristics of the breeds were dictated by the purpose for which it would be used, the terrain it would have to work over and the climate in which it would have to perform its duties.
When the first dog shows were held in Britain, beginning around 1843, the entries were limited to sporting breeds. Trials for sheepdogs were first held in Wales in 1873.
Breed Standards lay down the principles on which a breed is bred. It is a blueprint of sorts detailing the characteristics of a particular breed of dog that distinguishes it from all others

A standard cannot contain every detail of the dog, thus giving a complete picture of what the dog should be. Beginners often argue that they are unable to get sufficient guidance from the Standard of a breed and this complaint is a valid one, but one which can be overcome.

Few breeds remains completely static.
They all change to some small degree over the years. It is the responsibility of the true breeder to see to it that the breed does not change so drastically that it loses its original character due to incorrect interpretation of the Standard. A working and conformation standard is the virtue of any breeder/fancier. It contains the essence of the breed. It should be committed to memory and should be the beginning of a lifelong quest for knowledge of a chosen breed, not the end of the journey!

These official written standards are maintained by each breed’s national club and published.
A change in any breed standard should not be taken lightly and should only be attempted by those with a deep and thorough knowledge of a breed.’

All purebred breeds have a breed standard {which is a blueprint of the breed in terms of appearance, temperament, characteristics} and is fundamentally important that breeders breed to it and have their dogs judged against it to ensure predictability, which in turn maintains the integrity and true spirit of a purebred breed.

An example of why the breed standard is fundamentally important to maintaining the integrity of a purebred, would be the way Dobermann and other US working dogs, are being flushed down the toilet as working dogs, because of indiscriminate breeding against the breed standard…(enter Minimum breeding tests like Schutzhund, or Lack thereof!!

The Dobermann, GSD, Boxer, Rottweiler et al were created to be a be highly intelligent, high energy, bold, alert, work-driven warrior dogs and prerequisites were that they be sound in the head {so never arbitrarily aggressive}, strong nerves {so would not react fearfully to environmental stimulus} and have the genetic drives/characteristics/structure, to be trained to work as personal protection dog.

Popularity has been a curse for the US Dobermann and others as working dogs, and resulted in the back yard breeders/puppy mills breeding substandard dogs to cater to the pet market, soft unsound weak temperaments are now prevalent in the breed. Poorly breed dogs are being bred against the working standard and yet are supported by purchasers with their cash, which ensures that the practice continues.

Unless their is a seismic change in the attitude of US breeders and they go back to basic breed to the standard testing regulations, the future of many working / Sporting breeds is grim to say the least.

Put simply, the breed standard defines the breed. Breed Club Testing to minimums- (as if a KNPV title, which old Schutzhund mirrored, is not highly respected and an accomplishment!) helps maintain the breed, and knowledge through testing can help breeders improve faults in the breed.



The FCI and German Breed Clubs like the VDD, VPP, VDK et al all maintain high integrity in breeding fine animals. Breeding to average via performance standards maintains quality control, and has eliminated health defects like HD, in DDs down to about 1%.

HD, Coat, conformation and dentition are all tested as well as 2 field tests, a Natural ability test and intermediate HZP test. Wild game is used at one of the tests, sometimes both if hares can be tracked.  Additionally, EVERY bred DD has killed a fanged vermin like a raccoon, fox or badger in the field to ensure courage and hardness or HN.  There are very few dogs that can do this collectively, and why the DD stands out as a top hunting breed, by word of mouth in large part. Groups are judged By their average and DDs have set themselves apart, though DKs and PPs when bred correctly, are also fine hunting animals.

Natural Ability Test (VJP) when the dog is approximately one year old and essentially untrained (i.e. the dog has not been trained to retrieve to hand, although it should have been exposed to furred and feathered game and demonstrated to the handler its ability to track furred game and search for and point feathered game).

The HZP is a test that evaluates the advanced natural abilities of a versatile hunting dog.  Most of the dogs who run a HZP are between 10 and 24 months of age.  A full HZP (with 5 dogs) will usually last for an entire day.  A HZP basically consists of 5 different retrieves accomplished through three phases of judging: searching/pointing, drags, and water work.

The drag phase of the test consists of two land retrieves.  The judges will drag a dead gamebird (provided by the handler) 200 meters across a field.  The dog must complete the track and should retrieve the gamebird to hand.  The judges will also drag a dead rabbit/hare (provided by the handler) 300 meters across a field.  The dog must complete the track and should retrieve the rabbit/hare to hand.

The water work phase of the HZP consists of 3 duck retrieves in the water.  The first retrieve is a marked retrieve where the dog will get to see the duck being tossed into the water.  After the dog is sent for the retrieve, a shot will be fired over the dog to ensure that he/she is not gun sensitive in the water.  The dog must complete the retrieve.

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France Under German Nazi Occupation-Unreal

Jean-Marie Le Pen given suspended jail term for saying Nazi occupation of France ‘wasn’t particularly inhumane’

Le Pen said nothing but the truth about the German occupation in France, of course the average french citizen resented the occupation (as any normal person doesn’t like to see his own country under the control of a foreign power) but it was a quite civilised occupation.

Some years ago he stated that the holocaust ‘has been exaggerated and was only a minor event’of the WW2.  Again, objectively he said the truth, but was condemned to pay a fine of 180.000 € for that.

Because France had a very rich and productive primary sector it is estimated the country contributed up to 1/3 of the german war effort, in fact it was a time when french economy flourished, the industrials, farmers and traders were well happy, business was going extremely well, the germans bought (paid for) all the production.

Some very interesting pics about the German occupation in France:

The “Cafés”, bistrôts and Restaurants in Paris were always full of germans and french couples, life was not much different from “normal times”

Wall Street Journal Piece and their photo above

German troops with band playing, marching in Paris, 1941

The famous cabaret Moulin Rouge and Brasserie Dupont-Cyrano, 1942

Busy streets of Paris-The Horrors

Famous show-house/theatre Le Chapiteau

Only after June 1942 it was mandatory for all the jews (older than 6 yr) in occupied France to be identified with the yellow star of David, this pic was taken in Rue du Rivoli – Paris, after June 1942

Zoo of Vincennes full of people

Velo(bicicle)-taxi, very common at that time

Les Halles (central market of Paris), July 1942

Quartier du Marais, rue des rosiers, a jewish man (behind the lady) with the yellow david star walking calmly, like he was doing his regular morning walk

Cinema Lux, Bastille, the film “Haut le vent” by J. de Baroncelli

Trocadero on any given sunday, in front of the Eiffel Tower, like today a favourite place for youngs to play…is that a skate board ?!

Elysées subway station in 1943 (today the same station is called Franklin Roosevelt) 😎

The Hippodrome (horse racing track) of Longchamp in 1943

Young girl participant of the “Vincennes cours” (race) in 1941

Kommandantur (center of german military command), Place de l’Opéra, almost no guards

Crowd in front of the Jeune Front office at Av.des Champs Elysées (office to promote cooperation and recruitment of french willing to actively support the Axis) in 1940

French civilians and German soldiers coming out of the mass in the Church de la Madeleine


Civilians bathing, getting tanned at the Seine, 1943

Translation: “Visit the International Exhibition: Bolshevism against Europe at Wagram Avenue”

Translation: “They give their blood…give thy work to save Europe from Bolshevism”

Translation: “If you want to earn much more, come to work in Germany” …many did

No comment needed

French children of Wehrmacht soldiers seek German nationality

Their mothers were French, their fathers were German soldiers in Nazi-occupied France. Some 200,000 children endured scorn and often hid their father’s identity. Now some have begun applying for German citizenship.

Thousands of German soldiers fathered children in occupied France

More than 200,000 children fathered by German soldiers were raised by their French mothers after the Nazi occupation of France during World War II, according to Paris historian Fabrice Vergili.

Mijo Panier, fathered by a Wehrmacht soldier and born in 1943, recently applied for German citizenship. “I am proud to be German and French, proud of my dual nationality. I will use one and then the other,” she said.

Modern France under Jewish Control Today

Marbeuf-Champs Elysées subway station in 1943 (today the same station is called Franklin Roosevelt) 😎

According to F.j. P. Veale, the real horror of France began when the French communists began to kill German soldiers, blow up railways and bridges and other such terrorist activities. All these activities were against the Geneva convention which had tried to prevent such a thing from happening, for , as the Americans have found out in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam, when civilians kill soldiers all Hell breaks out. And that is exactly what happened all through occupied Europe. In France, for example, the murder of German soldiers also included the murder of “collaborators” by the tens of thousands , and then the murder within the French community by the French for the sake of robbery, revenge , and domestic quarrels.

This terror really got bad when the Germans were finally driven out of France for the Germans had maintained some form of civility in France while they were there. But when they were driven out , the French murdered as many as 100, 000 of their own for all of the above reasons and more. On top of all this horror, the British, while fighting the Germans, had bombed France and killed three times as many French as the Germans had killed in England during the Blitz…about 125, 000, which, of course, did not made the atmosphere nor the conditions in France any better.

All this from a country, England, that did not help the French in their hour of need against the famous “end run” the Germans had done to defeat the French in the war, the exit of the British troops at Dunkirk, and the follow-up bombing of the French fleet which killed several thousand French sailors because the Brits were afraid that the Nazis would use the French fleet in the war despite the fact the French surrender terms had stated that this would not be done. The British , unlike the Germans, had a four hundred year history of wars and how to win them , and this, of course, included methods of starting and conducting wars that most of us prefer not to learn.

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25 Best Hunting Towns In USA

The 25 Best Bird Hunting Towns in America

Last year’s list of the 25 Best Pheasant Hunting Towns in America selected locales predominately based in the Midwest where the ringneck is king.
Because Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever members hail from all reaches of the United States, from Alabama to Alaska, we’ve assembled this year’s list to include pheasants as well as multiple quail species, prairie grouse and even forest birds. The main criterion was to emphasize areas capable of providing multiple species, along with destinations most-welcoming to bird hunters.
In other words, there were bonus points awarded for “mixed bag” opportunities and neon signs “welcoming bird hunters” in this year’s analysis. We also avoided re-listing last year’s 25 towns, so what you now have is a good bucket list of 50 destinations for the traveling wingshooter!

1. Pierre, South Dakota.
This Missouri River town puts you in the heart of pheasant country, but the upland fun doesn’t stop there. In 2011 (the last year numbers were available) approximately 30 roosters per square mile were harvested in Hughes County. Cross the river and head south of Pierre and you’re into the Fort Pierre National Grassland, where sharp-tailed grouse and prairie chickens become the main quarry. In fact, the U.S. Forest Service manages the Fort Pierre National Grassland specifically for these native birds. Just North of Pierre also boasts some of the state’s best gray (Hungarian) partridge numbers as well.
* While you’re there: Myril Arch’s Cattleman’s Club Steakhouse goes through an average of 60,000 pounds of aged, choice beef a year, so they must know what they’re doing.

2. Lewistown, Montana.
Located in the geographic center of the state, Lewistown is the perfect city to home base a public land upland bird hunt. Fergus County has ring-necked pheasants, sharp-tailed grouse, gray (Hungarian) partridge, as well as sage grouse. You’ll chase these upland birds with stunning buttes and mountain ranges as almost surreal backdrops, and find no shortage of publically accessible land, whether state or federally owned.
Two keystone Pheasants Forever wildlife habitat projects are 45 minutes from Lewistown. Located six miles north of Denton, Montana, the 800-acre Coffee Creek BLOCK Management Area is located between a 320-acre parcel and an 880-acre parcel of land – all three areas are open to public hunting. Pheasants Forever also acquired a 1,000 acre parcel known as the Wolf Creek Property, a project which created 14,000 contiguous acres open to public walk-in hunting.
*While you’re there: Once the birds have been cleaned and the dog has been fed, head over to the 87 Bar & Grill in Stanford for their house specialty smoked ribs and steaks.

3. Hettinger, North Dakota.
Disregard state lines and you can’t tell the difference between southwest North Dakota and the best locales in South Dakota. Hettinger gets the nod in this region because of a few more Private Land Open to Sportsmen (P.L.O.T.S.) areas.
While you’re there: A visit north to the Pheasant Café in Mott seems like a must.

4. Huron, South Dakota.
Home to the “World’s Largest Pheasant,” Huron is also home to some darn good pheasant hunting. From state Game Production Areas to federal Waterfowl Production Areas to a mix of walk-in lands, there’s enough public land in the region to never hunt the same area twice on a 5 or 10-day trip, unless of course you find a honey hole.
*While you’re there: The Hwy. 14 Roadhouse in nearby Cavour has the type of good, greasy food that goes down guilt free after a long day of pheasant hunting.

5. Valentine, Nebraska.
One of the most unique areas in the United States, the nearly 20,000 square mile Nebraska Sandhills region is an outdoor paradise, and Valentine, which rests at the northern edge of the Sandhills, was named one of the best ten wilderness towns and cities by National Geographic Adventure magazine in 2007. Because the Sandhills are 95 percent grassland, it remains one of the most vital areas for greater prairie chickens and sharp-tailed grouse in the country. Grouse can be found on the 19,000-acre Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge and the 115,000-acre Samuel McKelvie National Forest, and grouse and pheasants may be encountered on the 73,000-acre Valentine National Wildlife Refuge.
* While you’re there: Head over to the Peppermill & E. K. Valentine Lounge and devour the Joseph Angus Burger, a finalist in the Nebraska Beef Council’s Best Burger Contest.

6. White Bird, Idaho. Hells Canyon is 8,000 feet of elevation, and at various levels includes pheasants, quail, gray partridge and forest grouse. Show up in shape and plan the right route up and down, and you may encounter many of these species in one day. It’s considered by many wingshooting enthusiasts to be a “hunt of a lifetime.” Nearly 40 percent of Idaho’s Hells Canyon is publically accessible, either through state-owned lands, U.S. Bureau of Land Management lands or U.S. Forest Service lands.
* While you’re there: Floats and rafting adventures are popular on the Salmon River, in case your bird hunt also needs to double as a family vacation.

7. Heppner, Oregon. Nestled in the Columbia Basin, within a half-hour drive hunters have the opportunity to harvest pheasants, California quail, Huns, chukar, and in the nearby Blue Mountains, Dusky grouse, ruffed grouse and at least the chance of running into mountain quail. With the exception of the Umatilla National Forest for grouse, the hunting opportunity is mostly on private land in the area, but the state has a number of agreements in the area for private land access through its Open Fields, Upland Cooperative Access Program and Regulated Hunt Areas.
* While you’re there: As you scout, make sure to drive from Highway 74, also called the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway, winding south from Interstate 84 through Ione, Lexington and Heppner.

8. Winnemucca, Nevada.
Winnemucca claims legendary status as the “Chukar Captial of the Country.” Long seasons (first Saturday in October through January 31), liberal bag limits (daily limit of six; possession limit of 18) and the fact that these birds are found almost exclusively on public land make chukar Nevada’s most popular game bird. The covey birds do well here in the steep, rugged canyons that mirror the original chukar habitat of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the birds’ native countries. Just know the first time you hunt chukar is for fun, the rest of your life is for revenge.
* While you’re there: Nearby Orovada, 44 miles to the north of Winnemucca, is known for excellent hunting areas as well as breathtaking views of the Sawtooth Mountains.

9. Albany, Georgia.
Buoyed by tradition and cemented with a local culture built upon the local quail plantation economy, Albany has a reputation as the “quail hunting capital of the world” and a citizenry that embraces “Gentleman Bob.”
* While you’re there: save an hour for the 60 mile trip South to Thomasville, Georgia where you can visit Kevin’s, a landmark sporting goods retailer devoted to the bird hunter.

10. Milaca, Minnesota.
There are places in Minnesota where pheasants can be found in greater abundance, ditto for ruffed grouse. But there are few places where a hunter may encounter both in such close proximity. While pheasants are found primarily on private land here, state Wildlife Management Areas in the region offer a chance at a rare pheasant/grouse double, including the 40,000-acre Mille Laces WMA. The nearby Rum River State Forest provides 40,000 acres to search for forest birds.
* While you’re there: For lunch, the Rough-Cut Grill & Bar in Milaca is the place. This isn’t the type of joint with a lighter portion menu, so fill up and plan on walking it all off in the afternoon…before you come back for supper.

11. Sonoita, Arizona.
Central in Arizona’s quail triangle – the Patagonia/Sonoita/Elgin tri-city area – the crossroads of U.S. Highways 82 and 83 puts you in the epicenter of Mearns’ quail country, and 90 percent of the world’s Mearns’ hunting takes place in Arizona. Surrounded by scenic mountain ranges, the pups will find the hotels dog friendly, and moderate winter temps extend through the quail hunting season. Sonoita is also close to desert grasslands (scaled quail) and desert scrub (Gambel’s quail). After your Mearns’ hunt in the oak-lined canyons, you can work toward the Triple Crown.

12. Abilene, Kansas.
A gateway to the Flint Hills to the north and central Kansas to the west, the two areas in recent years that have produced the best quail hunting in the Sunflower State.

13. Eureka, South Dakota.
Legend has it the town’s name stems from the first settler’s reaction to all the pheasants observed in the area – “Eureka!”

14. Wing, North Dakota.
Located just northeast of Bismarck, this town’s name is a clear indication of its premiere attraction. While primarily a waterfowler’s paradise, bird hunters looking to keep their boots dry can find pheasants, sharp-tailed grouse and Huns on ample public ground.

15. Redfield, South Dakota.
By law, there can only be one officially trademarked “Pheasant Capital of the World” and Redfield is the owner of that distinction . . . and for good reason!

16. Tallahassee, Florida.
Home to Tall Timbers, a partner non-profit focused on quail research, this north Florida town is steeped in the quail plantation culture and quail hunting tradition.

17. Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.
This fisherman’s paradise also makes for an excellent October launching off point for the bird hunter. Head south toward Fergus Falls to bag your limit of roosters, then jog northeast to find ruffed grouse and timberdoodles amongst thousands of acres of public forest lands. Point straight west and you’ll find prairie chickens in nearby Clay County if you’re lucky enough to pull a Minnesota prairie chicken permit.

18. Park Falls, Wisconsin.
For more than 25 years, Park Falls has staked its claim as the “Ruffed Grouse Capital of the World.” It’s more than just proclamation – more than 5,000 acres in the area are intensively managed as ruffed grouse and woodcock habitat.

19. Iron River, Michigan.
Four-season recreation is Iron County’s claim to fame, and with the nearby Ottawa National Forest, it’s no coincidence the county bills itself as the woodcock capital of the world.

20. Lander, Wyoming.
Wyoming is home to about 54 percent of the greater sage-grouse in the United States, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Wyoming manages millions of publically-accessible acres.

21. Miles City, Montana.
Sharp-tailed grouse are well dispersed throughout southeast Montana, and the state boasts the highest daily bag limit – four birds – in the country. Thicker cover along riparian areas also provides chances at ringnecks. Did we mention there are roughly 2.5 million acres of publicly-accessible land in this region?

22. Spirit Lake, Iowa.
The many Waterfowl Production Areas and their cattails make northwest Iowa a great late-season pheasant hunting option.

23. Holyoke, Colorado.
Lots of Pheasants Forever and state programs – including walk-in areas – are at work in Phillips County which has made the rural, northeast Colorado town of Holyoke the state’s shining upland star.

24. Barstow, California.
San Bernardino County is a top quail producer in the state, and the vast Mojave National Preserve is the most popular destination for hunters from throughout southern California, where wingshooters can also find chukar in addition to quail.

25. Anchorage, Alaska.
From the regional hub of Anchorage, bird hunters can drive or fly to excellent hunting areas in all directions, which include ptarmigan, ruffed grouse and spruce grouse. To maximize your chances and stay safe here, consider hiring a guide.

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