Managing for Huns?

cyclonenation10

Active member
Relative to pheasant and quail, there is very little research (that I have seen) regarding habitat management for hungarian partridge, or huns. In Iowa, they are a bird that I stumble upon probably 1/10 hunts while out looking for pheasants. I haven't found much rhyme or reason to why they are where they are, other than I usually flush them out of cut corn fields when I am not expecting anything to be around. Interestingly, I never seem to flush them in areas I expect to see a pheasant (thick grasses, shelter belts, etc.). It is always in picked crop fields, usually corn. We have recently enrolled over 100 acres of CRP about 3 years ago, which has benefited the pheasants, but I still have never seen a partridge while hunting our farm. I have shot them less than 1/4 mile away, but have never seen one on our property.

Is there anything specifically that can be done to help promote a higher hun population or draw them in to our place? I can't imagine specifically targeting them, since it is so sporadic, but maybe there are things that can be done and mutually benefit pheasant as well as huns?

Anybody ever had any success managing for Huns ?
 

haymaker

Well-known member
We used to have them until the winter of 96 - 97, that wiped them out since the we have gone to more corn and beans less small grains and less short grass. I have released them a couple of times but that didn't help. If you figure it out let me know I miss them.
 

remy3424

Well-known member
We are in a similar environments. I did see ONE, likely was nesting, in the CRP the very first year we seeded it (it was somewhat thin then). They like the short cover, I am thinking they must nest and bed in road ditches and terraces. There was a pretty nice covey of them that we would often see within a half mile of our crp, but after last winter, never saw any after that. Lots of snows cover combined with brutal cold temps must have wiped them out. If you could seed some crp with short grasses (not sure what they would be), that might attract them, but not so much for pheasants. I wonder if one planted short grass on the outside perimter of a crp field, maybe 100 feet or so would be enough to bring them in. Maybe lawn type grasses? There must be some studies on what they prefer. I would also love to have a resident flock.
 

cyclonenation10

Active member
We are in a similar environments. I did see ONE, likely was nesting, in the CRP the very first year we seeded it (it was somewhat thin then). They like the short cover, I am thinking they must nest and bed in road ditches and terraces. There was a pretty nice covey of them that we would often see within a half mile of our crp, but after last winter, never saw any after that. Lots of snows cover combined with brutal cold temps must have wiped them out. If you could seed some crp with short grasses (not sure what they would be), that might attract them, but not so much for pheasants. I wonder if one planted short grass on the outside perimter of a crp field, maybe 100 feet or so would be enough to bring them in. Maybe lawn type grasses? There must be some studies on what they prefer. I would also love to have a resident flock.
I've done a fair amount of digging, and from what I can tell I've seen references to brome grass as well as bluegrass as preferred nesting for Huns. I always thought the burn buffers surrounding our CRP (i believe a mix of clovers, rye, etc.) would provide the type of nesting habitat they prefer.

Hoping someone with a little more knowledge might have something to add here!
 

remy3424

Well-known member
I will believe anything Wind River has to say about partridge. I haven't seen than many partridge when holding a gun in the last 20 years! I guesss they are doing well in some places....not in NW Iowa. Impressive!
 

Kansan

Active member
We see a ton of them while waterfowl hunting in Saskatchewan, and always shoot some while we’re up there. Short stuff around wheat/barley sounds about right.
 
We see several coveys in ND, but almost never any shooting. These were found in Western Sask, big coveys this year. Populations can greatly swing from rare to numerous. Again, Brittman is spot on, very wheat dependent. I have hunted up there since 1986, my favorite bird. The flush is the rush.
 

Redmoose

New member
I see them a lot in Saskatchewan, it seems they are always around old abandon homesteads and hedgerows next to wheat fields. Also see them year after at the same places, could name the coveys according to location where I see them.
 

reddog

Well-known member
Short grass, small grains (barley and wheat), and lots of edges.

Slightly drier better than wet - tough to control that.

Growing up in Southwest Minnesota in the early70s, there were tons of Huns around. My brother and I shot limits nearly every evening after we got out of school. Lots of edges, small grains, cut silage. Almost every time there were mixed grain and alfalfa in their crop. Very hardy bird, not afraid to spend winter in a plowed field..
 

BRITTMAN

Well-known member
ND has way too much beans and corn now. It also has changed the field feeding duck patterns in ND.

I do not believe Huns benefit much from expansive CRP either, too much tall grass and no edges.
 
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