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Upland Bird Species

Vermont has excellent hunting for a variety of upland birds. The state's varied habitats are home to locally abundant populations of ruffed grouse (or partridge) and woodcock.

Ruffed Grouse or partridge are the most widely available upland game in Vermont. Good numbers of partridge can be found wherever brushy forest stands provide nesting cover, protection from predators, and food in the form of berries and buds. Overgrown apple orchards, abandoned hillside farms, and regenerating clear cuts covered with hardwood thickets are all grouse hot spots. Although grouse are found statewide, the Northeast Kingdom probably offers the best grouse hunting.
grouse

woodcock Woodcock are also found statewide. "Timberdoodles" feed primarily on worms, and they favor areas with moist, rich soils that are covered with dense stands of woody shrubs and sapling-stage hardwoods. Alder swales, regenerating clear cuts, and abandoned pastures covered with thickets of dogwood, sumac, birch and aspen are all likely woodcock covers. Locally hatched native birds provide hunting early in the season, but the best shooting is in mid to late October, when large numbers of flight birds are pushed out of Canada by cold weather. The best hunting is generally in the Champlain Valley and Northeast Kingdom.

If you are hunting woodcock, federal law requires you to register with the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP).



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