Upland Game Birds in West Valley, Part I

by Pat Jaquith

Merriam’s Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo merriami) 4/23/20

We have seven species of Upland Game Birds in our area: Wild turkeys; Ring-necked Pheasants; Hungarian (Gray) Partridge; Ruffed Grouse; Blue Grouse; and Chukar Partridge. As noted in discoveringmontana.com, prior to the 1950’s, upland bird hunting was not well-managed in Montana. Popular game birds were heavily hunted to the point that populations began to suffer. Starting in the ’50’s, it was recognized that limiting hunting would allow these species and their habitats to be self-sustaining and healthy. Today, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks controls and monitors hunting and harvesting upland bird species.

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