Where to hunt Woodcock
Woodcock is the largest member of the snipe family. Two slightly different species inhabit North America and Eurasia. Both prefer forests and woods to marshes and swamps, but needs wet ground it could stick its long beak into searching for worms and insects. It spends summers in the north, and migrates to warmer, preferably seaside, territories for the winter months. Woodcock hunting opportunities exist all over Europe. In America, most woodcock hunting opportunities center around New England in the USA, and New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec in Canada.
Woodcock hunting opportunities start at about $250 a hunter a day. For a fully guided hunt that includes the use of the outfitter’s pointers and lodging, expect to pay $2,000 or so. This should cover a few days of hunting with 20-30 points a day. Woodcock hunting is sometimes included into a package with more expensive hunting quarries, such as bear or capercaillie, and the most expensive offers you see on BookYourHunt.com woodcock hunting page are of this variety.
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Some European countries have a limited spring season for capercaillie, black grouse, and other birds – including woodcock. Spring woodcock hunting scenes can be found in many works of classic Russian literature, including Anna Karenina. This hunt makes a natural addition to capercaillie, black grouse and bear hunts.27 Apr 2017 Hunting on the Side: Three Ways to Add Variety to Your Russian Capercaillie and Black Grouse Hunt
When to hunt Woodcock?
There isn’t usually a special woodcock season, but the best time for woodcock hunting is centered around the migration. Woodcock remain in their habitat until the land is frozen over, and feed actively to accumulate enough fat for migration. When a cold front pushes the migratory birds from the north, and they join the local birds in an area where they may stay for a few more days, comes the best woodcock hunting time. At the wintering grounds woodcock hunting continues into the new year. Some European countries have a limited spring season as well.
Hunting methods All hunting methods (12)
The way to hunt woodcock is by walking them up with dogs. Some prefer pointing dogs, and others swear by spaniels and other flashes, but a good nose and a better discipline is more important than the choice of breed. You might occasionally stumble on a congregation of a few dozens of migratory woodcock, where you don’t need a dog to limit out, but this is a rare treat that Fates usually reserve for local hunters. Hunters can usually find signs of woodcock presence in an area by looking for footprints and peculiar holes they make when sticking their beak in the ground near forest roads and springs. Some Eastern European countries preserve the old tradition of hunting woodcock in spring during their mating flight.
Why hunt Woodcock?
There’s a story about a hunter whose heart began to beat so hard every time his dog made a point over a woodcock that he was afraid he might have a heart attack. It was so bad that he had to sell the dog and quit woodcock hunting. Whether it is true or not, there’s no denial that woodcock hunting is one of the most emotional pursuits, with or without bird dogs. It is a great challenge for both the dog, that must do its job even as the handler may be completely hidden from sight and out of hearing range. It’s a great challenge for a shotgunner, too – woodcocks are expert at evading the shot behind bushes and trees. No wonder some people make long journey to places where there are big densities of migratory woodcock. You will find woodcock hunting scenes in classic Russian and French literature, and woodcock was one of the most prized delicacies on the menu of old Europe, too.
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