So like any good article I must preface this by saying I believe if you hunt, you must learn to cook great meals with your game meat, or have someone in the household that does. Part of being a sportsman is utilizing the meat we harvest. As a fisherman if I don’t want to eat a fish, we can often catch and release so that I get to fish as much as I want without wasting life or meat. I usually eat a lot of fish though so we fish to feed the family.

With hunting there is no catch and release system unless we flush the birds and just let them fly away I guess but then there is not the ultimate reward for the dog of retrieving the game.

Let me also say there still a few species I have never hunted and harvested so they can’t fall in my list and I would rely on input from others.

Although we have ptarmigan where we live, it is a three hour hike into them at a very high elevation, and then a three hour hike back out. Horseback makes the trip easier of course, but I still haven’t made the trip.

I also have never hunted woodcock or sage grouse. They are on the list but I haven’t gotten it done yet.

So in terms of flavor based on the ways I have prepared these dishes this is my ranking

Best tasting upland meat hunted with a French Brittany.

  1. Hungarian Partridge– This is my favorite bird hands down of all the birds I hunt. Hard to find, hard to get but totally worth it. I must put in parenthesis Bacon wrapped squirrel. We had one french brittany that was the best squirrel pointer in the world and so we started hunting them regularly. Then we had to learn to cook them well. I love them bacon wrapped and smoked or grilled I also love them in stew. We love rabbit as well but don’t let the dogs hunt rabbits since they wouldn’t keep hunting for Chukar if we let them hunt the rabbits.
  2. Chukar partridge. This is my least favorite bird to hunt because of the terrain they live in, and how hard they can be to pursue and harvest. I am not young enough to hunt them anymore like I should. I love to hunt them by placing them in launchers in a flat field though 😉 It is often said the first time you hunt Chukar it is for sport, all the rest of the times it is for revenge. I wish I had never tasted my first one because they are amazing and it makes you chase after them anyway.
  3. Blue Grouse or Dusky Grouse. I think they are wonderful, it is a larger bird with plenty of meat and exceptional flavor
  4. Pheasant. Probably my favorite species to hunt, I love the volume of meat harvested, I love everything about the bird from the cackle to explosive flight to stunning colors. I love pheasants
  5. Ruffed grouse. Smaller bird, fun to hunt, great early season conditioning hunt and great flavor.
  6. Quail. Quail of any kind prepared almost anyway. I love quail hunting and I love quail eating.
  7. Sharp tailed grouse. It is a darker meat, fun hunt great medium sized bird but doesn’t taste as good as a pheasant.
  8. Dove. I like dove, especially in a casserole. The trouble is it takes so many and it is a hot early season hunt. Good for getting me and the dogs moving though.
  9. Goose– Not often hunted with brittanys but they are great for early season retrieves of these monster birds
  10. Duck– Though this should be closer to item 30. Duck is nasty. I don’t like eating duck so I don’t hunt duck. It also isn’t a type of hunting I enjoy. Sitting in the cold and wet waiting for them to come in… I much prefer watching the dogs work to find game, the point, the flush the retrieve. Thats what gets my blood going.

So anyone who can get me on some woodcock ever, that would be great and I will have to get a sage grouse hunt someday as well.

What does your list look like? what order do you rank the species?