Iowa Huns

quailhunter101

New member
Me and a buddy from Indiana may be visiting a friend a for a late season weekend west of Fort Dodge to tag along pheasant hunting. I have always wanted to see some huns/gray partridge. I know they are on the decline out there, but what are the chances of bumping into a covey of Huns? Looks like better chances may be east and north of Fort Dodge.
 
I have seen two Hungarian partridge in several years of hunting north of Fort Dodge.

I have never had the opportunity to shoot at one.
 

quailhunter101

New member
I am a bleeding optimist, but figured it was not likely to come across any. A trip out to Montana and Idaho is on my bucket list, just too far and not enough time to get away for a trip like that right now. Thanks everyone. There was a time long ago that NW Indiana held a few huns. Before my lifetime
 

Randy S

New member
Chances are slim but I shot a pair out of a nice covey west of Fort Dodge 3-4 years ago. Also shot three out of a covey in eastern Iowa last year. Both times I was hunting pheasants and realize that I was very fortunate. Did pretty good on Huns in Idaho last season and sounds like this year will be better. Headed to ID in four weeks!
 

wapsijim

New member
1988 was the last time we shot a Hun in eastern Iowa (Cedar Co.), though I have seen them since. They were just a bonus for the good pheasant numbers back then.
 

Open Ranger

New member
Man I have been hunting the area around Fort Dodge for years with my buddies and we never have even bumped into a covey. The Iowa DNR would tell you they are a bonus bird while out hunting pheasants.. yeah right!
 

Randy S

New member
Hun's as an Iowa "bonus bird".

I would agree that the NDR's discription is outdated. Huns were a true bonus bird 25 years ago. But today they are a rarity that their ridiculous 8 bird per day bag limit defies. I imagine that there are just slightly more Huns shot in Iowa today as ruffed grouse.
 

Hoosier Gsp

New member
I’ve hunted NW Iowa 10 of the last 13 years and have seen 2 coveys with no shots fired on Huns. That’s hunting for a week each year from legal start to finish time and covering a lot of miles. So I wouldn’t hold my breath on finding very many but good luck and I hope you do find some.
 

Tbear

UPH Master
Huns also tend to be in different habitat than pheasant. They like short grass or stubble. Most of the time when I run in to a covey it’s cutting through a cornfield or right on the edge.
 

Ranger Rick

Member
I've run into a covey in Iowa and one in South Dakota in over 15 years of hunting pheasants in both states. In Iowa a couple years ago, a covey flushed on the other side of our line of 4 guys. I was yelling "Huns shoot". The guys within shooting distance didn't know what they were and thought I was yelling "hens", so didn't shoot. They also couldn't understand why I'd be yelling to shoot hens.

In South Dakota there were sharp tailed grouse in the area. My buddies Springer flushed a bird, I yelled "Grouse" and he dropped it. Then a second one later in the same field. We get to the end and he shows me one of the birds. He didn't know what it was, but knew it wasn't a grouse.

If you run into them in Iowa, they're definitely a bonus bird found while hunting pheasants.
 

Randy S

New member
I think I'm one of the luckiest non-hun hunters. I shot one a few years ago in Nebraska when pheasant hunting. Flushed from the edge of bean stubble and I knew it was a Hun right away. Anticipated the rest of the covey flush that never happened. I sometimes wonder if it was a training bird.
 

Tbear

UPH Master
I’m definitely going to do a western trip fall 2020 specifically for them. They are one of my favorite species to shoot. That being I have only seen 6 coveys 😂
 

quailhunter101

New member
A 10 day trip out across ND, MT, ID and NE on the way home is on my ‘before 40 list’. Wish it was going to be 2020 for me, but more likely 2021. Hopefully habitat and land access can hold on strong until then! I am 35, so I only have a few years to get it done. I am doing my preliminary planning/budgeting already. More than just bird hunting I want to explore Montana and Idaho. Now, the goal of course is to harvest some new upland species... huns, chukars, California quail, sharpies. Huns were something my dad always said he would like to hunt, but we never left Indiana growing up. I am fortunate now to be able to make a couple long weekend trips each season to hunt out of state.
 

hunter94

Active member
A 10 day trip out across ND, MT, ID and NE on the way home is on my ‘before 40 list’. Wish it was going to be 2020 for me, but more likely 2021. Hopefully habitat and land access can hold on strong until then! I am 35, so I only have a few years to get it done. I am doing my preliminary planning/budgeting already. More than just bird hunting I want to explore Montana and Idaho. Now, the goal of course is to harvest some new upland species... huns, chukars, California quail, sharpies. Huns were something my dad always said he would like to hunt, but we never left Indiana growing up. I am fortunate now to be able to make a couple long weekend trips each season to hunt out of state.
better plan on a lot more than 10 days to accomplish your trip/hunting through 4 states......the driving will be brutal.....i would plan for 15 days at least.....good luck and don't try to squeeze too much in a short amount of time, take your time and enjoy the trip.
 
I have been hunting for 40 plus year in Iowa and Hun's are very limited for quite some time. I have shot quite a few over 10-20 years ago with seeing 2-4 coveys was not uncommon hunting North Western Iowa.
Now getting good shooting range is another thing. 30 years ago I though Iowa would be over run with them because there so smart, but they can not tolerate a lot of moisture when nesting, hence they have not.
Just FYI I have shot a quad on them four shots four birds. To this day I always carry three in my hunting vest 12ga 3 3/4dr 1 1/4 loads of 7 1/2 shot for them.
 

McFarmer

Member
Driving the combine east of Spencer and saw more partridge than I've seen my whole life. Saw maybe 20 or more.

Odd, all in various CRP fields.
 

BirdDoggin

New member
Driving the combine east of Spencer and saw more partridge than I've seen my whole life. Saw maybe 20 or more.

Odd, all in various CRP fields.
How about pheasants? Curious to know if you are seeing birds similar to last year in your part of Iowa. Have you had as much rain and moisture as parts of MN and SD?

Thanks for the info, anxious to make the drive South either way.
 

remy3424

Member
I saw a covey of 5 last season, couldn't get myself to shoot them, saw a group of 7 or eight this weekend that we didn't pursue. These are the only ones I have seen during season for over 10 years. Just not enough to hunt around here.
 
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