Bringing home a mixed bag: Hunting multiple upland game bird species

A male pheasant takes flight over an Eastern Washington farm field.
When it comes to hunting multiple species of upland game birds, pheasant can overlap with quail where farming areas are next to thickets along a water source. When hunting pheasant, you can also encounter gray partridges.

The likely combos

While hunting for multiple upland game bird species isn’t a tactic for every occasion, here are some likely combinations of birds you can pursue in the field, according to WDFW biologists.

Hunting tips

When it comes to hunting upland game birds, turkey, and forest grouse, the WDFW has published quite a bit of information in recent blogs to help you be successful in your hunts.

Where to go

When it comes to where to go to target multiple species of upland game birds, on-the-ground conditions will of course be different for folks in different regions of the state and even to a degree within the same region. We encourage getting out to check out areas near you, both new and familiar, but below are a few options. In addition to the areas below, check out WDFW’s webpage on places to go hunting to explore other possibilities.

Three gray partridge look around warily in a farm field.
Another combination that can be encountered when upland game bird hunting is gray partridge overlapping with chukar, as well as some pheasant and quail.

Eastern Washington

Of course, the potential for chukar and gray partridge and any species overlap involving them is going to be seen in Eastern Washington as opposed to west of the Cascades. In South Central Region 3, some areas see chukar, gray partridge, and quail overlapping, with the different species sometimes flushing not far from each other.

Two harvested ruffed grouse are seen next to lobster mushrooms.
A little multitasking went a long way on this Olympic Peninsula grouse hunt that also saw some lobster mushrooms picked along the way. A blue grouse later joined this pair of ruffed grouse to make a multi-species hunt combined with mushroom hunting. (Michael Foster/WDFW)

Western Washington

In Western Washington, the range of upland game bird species a hunter can target is a little more narrow, but opportunities are still out there.

Chanterelles are seen collected on a mossy forest floor amid grouse hunting gear.
Keeping a watchful eye while grouse hunting and scouting for elk sign yielded a frying pan’s worth of chanterelles during an afternoon outing this fall in the Hoh River Valley. (Michael Foster/WDFW)

A real mixed bag

If you really want to broaden the horizons on your outing, there is little limit to the breadth of other outdoor activities you can add into your upland game bird hunting, depending on the species you’re after and your location. This is especially true if you’re spending a few days afield:

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.