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Game Birds

Our birds are released in various types of cover and offer the sportsman a very challenging hunt. Trails are mowed in the fields to facilitate easy access. We have constructed a 20,000 square foot flight pen to maintain our birds in prime condition. Our birds are not kept on wire, but a natural planted cover similar to what is encountered in all our fields. We purchase our birds from Trice Pheasantry in Quakertown, PA. They are one of the largest growers on the east coast with a reputation as one of the best in the industry.


Pheasant (Goodus Toeatus)

Pheasants are our most popular and sought after game bird. Explosive take offs, fast running and strong flying make these birds the most challenging to hunt.

Basic Facts
- Size: Males are 2-1/2 to 2-3/4 pounds and 30 to 36 inches long (including tail);
Females are 2 to 2-1/4 pounds and 21 to 25 inches long.
- Flight speed: 40 miles per hour (short distance fliers).

Where to Find Them
Pheasants prefer to feed in the morning and preen in the afternoon before roosting. Popular pheasant feeding include crop rows and land rich in seed, so look for any area where excess grains can be found. If the pheasants have faced heavy hunting pressure, they'll most likely retreat into the heavy rough, requiring greater coordination with your dogs and fellow hunters.

Behavior
Rain or snow essentially grounds the pheasant, so they can be especially hard to find during inclement weather.

When Flushed
Upon first being approached, a pheasant's first line of retreat is simply to march into deeper rough. If you can cut off this escape route, or apply more pressure, the bird will fly. Look for a flushed pheasant to rise into the wind before turning away.

Remember
Pheasants tend to fly even predictable flight patterns, making it easier to time your shot for the best distance to maximize shot spread.



Chukar (Phasianide Alectoris)

Chukar are very popular birds in the preserve and are considered the best eating by many. They are very fast runners and strong flying make these birds the most challenging to hunt.  The chukar is a non-native species that was introduced to North America as a game bird in the late 1800s. It is native to the mountainous areas of the Middle East and Asia. It is a member of the pheasant family.

Basic Facts
- Size: 1 1/2 to 2 Pounds
- Flight speed: 35 miles per hour (very short distance fliers).

Where to Find Them
The chukar naturally live on rocky, arid hillsides and mountain slopes and canyon walls. It is also found in open and flat desert areas with little vegetation and on barren plateaus. It is an altitudinal migrator and will move from higher elevations to lower elevations during snowy weather. Chukars will often pop out of cover when disturbed. When flushed, they always will head to the fence rows and may land in trees.

Behavior
Chukar are strong runners. They are a hardy bird and can tolerate cold weather.

When Flushed
Upon first being approached, a Chukar's first line of retreat is simply to run into deeper rough. A good dog will, if you can cut off this escape route, or apply more pressure, get the bird to fly. Look for a flushed chukar flush away from it's pursuer.

Remember
Pheasants tend to fly even predictable straight flight patterns, making it easier to time your shot for the best distance to maximize shot spread.




Bobwhite Quail (Colinus virginianus)


Basic Facts
- Size: 0 to 1-1/2 pounds and 8 to 12 inches long
- Newborn quail can fly short distances just a week after birth.
- A group of quails is called a "covey."

Where to Find Them
Like most upland birds, quail can be found where there is food, water, and cover. Although quail can sometimes be found near human activity, the best chances for finding them are in the most remote areas.

Behavior
Quails form coveys of 10 - 100 to help ward off predators, such as hawks, owls, and foxes. When a hunter approaches, quail will squawk and fly off in all directions. During the spring, the covey breaks up and the quail pair for mating.

When Flushed
When the covey is flushed, be ready for erratic flight and dispersal in every direction.

Quail hold well to pointing dogs and present a fast, elusive target. Quail congregate in coveys and flush in every direction requiring excellent marksmanship.

At Marshtown, we pride ourselves on the fact that we use the best flight conditioned birds available in the mid-Atlantic. The preserve also has Hungarian Partridges available.