Photo Essay: The Mearns’ Quail, a Southwestern Beauty

Dave Brown 9

The male Mearns’ is a gorgeous bird.

all photos courtesy Dave Brown

One of the most beautiful game birds to be found in North America is the Mearns’ quail. Although there is a small population in West Texas, only Arizona and New Mexico have huntable populations. The range is limited to the Davis Mountains of Texas, the southeastern corner of Arizona and the southwestern corner of New Mexico, then south into Mexico. Unlike its two desert-dwelling cousins—the Gambel’s and scaled (or blue) quail—Mearns’ quail are generally found above 4,000 feet in the oak-lined canyons of the area’s sky islands or mountain ranges that make up the. . .

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Podcast Classic: Getting Started – Upland Birds and Waterfowl

[Note: This is a re-post of a great discussion for beginners, or those just thinking about starting out (like me!) -KM]

Brett is joined by Orvis Shooting Instructor and former co-host Pete Kutzer to answer a question from a listener on how to get started hunting for both upland birds and waterfowl. Lots of details here. Grab a pencil as Brett and Pete cover everything from dog safety to preparing your boots.

We have set up a voicemail box here at Orvis for your comments and suggestions for future podcasts. If you call, please remember to leave your name and where you are from in case we use your message in the show. The number is 802-362-8800.

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Video: How to Field Dress a Ruffed Grouse

If you ever manage to hit one of the darned things—my season has been a little frustrating so far—cleaning a ruffed grouse is actually a pretty simple affair. Here’s an excellent demonstration from a Canadian hunter, who takes care to use the entire bird.

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Video: Lunchtime Grouse Hunt in Vermont


One of the great things about having our offices located in the mountains of southwestern Vermont is that we have pretty much instant access to the outdoors. Last week, a few us of took a long lunch to chase grouse on a hillside behind my house. Orvis Rod & Tackle Manager Steve Hemkens brought his dog, Cayenne, and Eastern ELOG Coordinator Scott McEnaney brought. . .

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Duck Commanders at Sandanona Shooting Grounds!

We’re not ones to get particularly excited over celebrity sightings, but we have to say, this is pretty cool. Phil and Si Robertson of Duck Commander stopped by our Sandanona Shooting Grounds! We hear that over 6.5 million people watched the season final of their TV show Duck Dynasty last night, which doesn’t surprise us at all. Of course, everyone wanted to get a picture with these two:

Phil Robertson, Orvis Sandanona‘s Andrew Johnson, and Si Robertson

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Photo Essay: Making New Friends on a South Dakota Pheasant Hunt

South Dakota Pheasant Trip

Brett Ference (far left) with his new pals in Timber Lake, South Dakota.

photo courtesy Brett Ference

I flew into Bismarck, got my shells and additional supplies in town, and headed across a rolling brown ocean to Timber Lake, South Dakota (Population 592), for the three days of hunting wild pheasants. As a New Englander, I was struck by the absence of trees and endless horizons, which made me feel whatever the exact opposite of claustrophobic is. I had been invited by a friend to come along on an annual trip he makes with friends from high school and a few other. . .

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