Hunting: Get a rush from a woodcock’s flush

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Hunting: Get a rush from a woodcock’s flush

Postby Tom Nolette » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:55 am

Hunting: Get a rush from a woodcock’s flush
It’s a satisfying hunt even when the bird eludes you and your dog.

October means open season for upland birds, though that term could be a bit of a misnomer. Ruffed grouse are indeed more prevalent up on the aspen and beech ridges, but down in the bottomland alder runs, where the soil is wet enough to hold their preferred food – earthworms – you’ll find a rather remarkable upland bird, the American woodcock.

Most upland birds – like grouse, pheasant and quail – are gallinaceous, members of the chicken family. Taxonomically, the woodcock is a shorebird, a wayward member of the sandpiper family that long ago abandoned the coastal sand bars and salt marshes in favor of slightly more terrestrial haunts. But they still like to get their feet wet and likely find the soft, wet soil easier to probe their long bills into.

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