Upland Game Birds
Hunting of upland birds is a popular fall activity for hunters of all ages and skills levels. Upland birds are plentiful in the all areas of the province, making them easy to access.
Upland game birds may be hunted with .22 rim-fire rifles, shotgun, or a bow.
The sharptail is Saskatchewan's provincial bird and the largest of the three grouse species common to North America. At 15 - 20 inches, the sharp-tailed grouse is only a little smaller than the female pheasant, and looks quite similar. It is closely related to the greater prairie chicken, which is no longer found in Saskatchewan. Its distinct tail is pointed and short, with white outer tail feathers. Sharptail are found throughout the province and prefer native grass or shrub prairie for nesting and survival.
The ruffed grouse, or "bush partridge" is found throughout the forest and parkland of Saskatchewan, living in apsen and willow cover. The bird gets its name from the ruff or dark feathers on each side of its neck and is recognized by its crested head and feathered legs. An adult cock wights about 100 grams, slightly more than a mature then.They are easier to find in the wintertime, when the snow forces them up to treetops in order to feed.
The spruce grouse (also known as fool hen due to its tame nature) can grow to between 15 and 17 inches, is chicken-like with a tail that is fan-shaped. The male has the distinct red comb over its eye. This is a northern bird that is found through most of Canada, a speices native to Saskatchewan. It is found in coniferous forests (spruce and pine), and on the edges of bogs or deep forests.They are generally found alone or in small groups during the hunting season.
The ptarmigan, a member of the grouse family, turns white in winter and makes long seasonal migrations. The willow ptarmigan and rock ptarmigan are two species found during the winter in northern Saskatchewan. In winter, both males and females are white except for a black tail, beak and eyes.
Mature adults of this species weigh about 500 grams. They breed in the tundra of northern Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories.
The Hungarian, or Grey partridge is another bird native to Europe and Asia that was introduced to certain parts of North America. It has since adapted to reside in areas of agriculture, where no other game bird is found. A short and stocky bird, chicken-like in appearance, the "Hun" partridge can reach about 12 to 14 inches in length and weighs about 400 grams. Hungarian partridge are found throughout the cultivated portion of the province, seeking farmsteads, sloughs and patches of uncultivated land for cover.
The male of this species has a very distinct coloration, with a ring of white feathers around the base of its neck, hence its name. The female is a plain tan or brown color, and smaller than the male.
The ring-necked pheasant is a native of Asia, but has been introduced to many parts of North America. It is mostly found in woodlands or open prairie, with high grasses or brush which it uses for cover.