Nick Larson, Host of the Birdshot Podcast, gives us a bird hunting 101 today. We break down the types of birds you can target, where to find them, and their differences in behavior. He tells us what is the best shotgun to get started with, some useful tips to maintain your composure while shooting, and which gun to get next as you become a more experienced hunter. 

We discover how to hunt birds with or without dogs and how OnX maps change the game for upland bird hunting. Nick also shares the story of how he started his podcast which was not far from when we started our podcast too.


Click below and listen to the Podcast about Upland Bird Hunting with Nick Larson:

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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upland bird hunting

Upland Bird Hunting Show Notes with Nick Larson

04:30 – Nick Larson’s got a podcast – Birdshot Podcast

05:20 – Nick used to hunt upland birds without a dog – he tells us how dogs change the game.

upland bird hunting

06:40 – Nick mentioned our episode with Terry Kluke at WFS 356 where we covered fly fishing and hunting in Ontario. Nick fished a lot in Ontario.

08:45 – They’ve got sharp-tailed grouse, ruffed grouse, pheasants, wood cock, prairie chickens, and spruced grouse.

10:30 – Nick tells us how to get started with hunting – google a bird species and the state you’re in, for ex: ruffed grouse Minnesota. Make sure you secure a hunting license from DNR and pay attention to the state rules and limits. Ruffed Grouse Management Area is a good resource to learn more about ruffed grouse hunting in Minnesota.

16:15 – Ruffed grouse season starts mid-September in Minnesota


upland bird hunting

18:20 – The best month to hunt grouse is the last 2 weeks of October and the first 2 weeks of November

20:15 – Nick has a friend with a grouse camp in Minnesota – Pineridge Grouse Camp

20:50 – Their firearms dear season usually starts the first Saturday of November

22:45 – Nick’s got a hunt coming up in North Dakota and will primarily hunt sharp-tailed grouse.

upland bird hunting

23:30 – Another bonus bird that they get a chance to hunt is the Hungarian Partridge – a non-native species

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Photo by

35:45 – Tip for sharp-tailed grouse: If your dog is on point, you’re walking in and a bird flushes, keep walking until you see the group of birds. Don’t shoot right away.

39:40 – Wingshooting is a term that is used as a broader term to include Waterfowl hunting or Dove hunting. Upland hunting generally refers to the upland game birds which are grouse, quail, pheasants, or Hungarian partridge, etc.

42:25 – Nick works for Upland Gun Company and they sell a very specific kind of gun. He doesn’t recommend their gun if you’re just getting started with hunting.

upland bird hunting
Photo by Upland Gun Company

44:15 – He recommends a Remington 870 Express for beginners

upland bird hunting
Photo by Remington Gun

45:50 – Nick likes a double gun, also known as an over/under, side by side, or a break-action gun. He tells us why.

upland bird hunting

48:10 – A 12-gauge gun is more common for all upland bird hunters but the more avid upland bird hunter uses a 20-gauge

51:20 – Their guns at Upland Gun Company are made to order and the price starts at $2000

55:24 – Tip: Relax and maintain composure when you see a bird. You got more time than you think.

1:01:10 – Practice shooting at sporting clays

1:06:50 – Nick launched his podcast in September 2017. It used to be called, Project Upland and was only recently changed to Birdshot Podcast.

1:19:10 – OnX Hunt sponsors their podcast. They change the game big time for hunting.


You can find Birdshot on Instagram at @birdshot.podcast

Website at

Listen on Apple Podcast at Birdshot Podcast

upland bird hunting


Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 356 – Fishing Musky with Terry Kluke – Lake Wabigoon, Pike, Canada


Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below