What is Upland hunting ?

The Preserve is renowned as New England’s best pheasant hunting destination.

Upland hunting at The Preserve Club & Residences

Presenting the Newest Sportsmen’s Club in the Northeast

Upland hunting is an American term for a form of bird hunting in which the hunter pursues upland birds including quail, pheasant, grouse, woodcock, prairie chicken, chukar, grey partridge, and others. Upland birds tend to be found on the ground in heavy cover, so hunters generally employ the use of gun dogs to locate and retrieve game. The average group consists of 2-4 hunters with 1-2 dogs. Normally, if there is one dog the owner usually handles the dog while the others focus on shooting.

Upland bird hunting and clay pigeon shooting have both been widely accepted as gentlemanly activities but it was more prevalent in the past. For example; a man may take his father in law out on a hunting trip. It is also an activity for business outings.

Depending upon their method of work, some dogs point game and some flush game. When flushed, either by the hunter or the dog, the hunter then attempts to shoot the birds on the wing. This is also known as wingshooting.

Upland hunting encompasses some of the activities that takes place in rough shooting in the United Kingdom.


Upland hunters use all types of shotguns from break-breach guns to semi-automatics, and .410 bore through 12 gauge. The quintessential shotgun for upland hunting is a double barrel shotgun in a smaller gauge such as a 16, 20 or 28 gauge. Upland guns can be extremely valuable, often commanding many thousands of dollars.

In America (though not in the UK), some states, such as Alabama and Arkansas, require upland hunters to wear blaze orange clothing for safety.[3] They often wear vests to carry game, though there is a recent trend toward more functional technical daypacks specifically designed for the demands of more rigorous upland hunting in remote areas.


Upland hunters work specially trained gun dogs to find game. Spaniels and pointing breeds are used most often, though retrievers are worked with considerable success when hunting pheasant in many areas.

Upland hunters traditionally walk when finding game, though quail hunters in the Southern States often employ hunting buggies or vehicles due to the sparseness of game. Because of the large area that must be covered in order to find bobwhite quail many hunters employ specially designed hunting buggies to haul gear and kennels for fresh dogs. On the other hand, chukar and Hungarian partridge hunters of much of the western U.S. will hunt with one or two dogs on the ground for the duration of the hunt, hiking 8+ miles of steep mountain terrain in a single hunt with well conditioned dogs.

An important component of upland hunting for hunters is their partnership with their canine hunting companion. The breed of dog chosen by a hunter should first and foremost fit the style of hunting of the hunter and then the primary type of upland bird being hunted for the relationship to be successful. A puppy’s training may begin when the dog is around 4 months old. Training often involves reinforcement of canine hunting instinct, and some common training tools are: whistles, 6 & 20 ft choke leashes, and shock collars. A puppy can be brought into the field within a year, but dogs reach prime ability at closer to 3 or 4 years old.

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