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The Journey Within

Upland Slam

of North American Gamebirds

27 Species

The Journey Within – A Bird Hunter’s Diary
Mark Peterson’s successful quest to hunt and harvest
the 27 different species of upland birds.

Mark's Progress - Completed

27 of 27 Upland Gamebirds
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Partridge

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Mark Peterson hunting Himalayan Snowcock in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada
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Himalayan Snowcock

Partridge

Himalayan Snowcock

Shot Size:

4 lead

Gauge:

12

Location:

Ruby Mountains, Nevada

In Part 1, Mark Peterson embarks on his quest to complete the Upland Slam of 27 bird species in the series The Journey Within – A Bird Hunter’s Diary.  Mark is heading into the Ruby mountains of Nevada in search of the extremely elusive Himalayan Snowcock. Himalayan Snowcock live at elevations up to 11,000 feet making this more of a sheep hunt then a bird hunt.

Mark Peterson Hungarian Partridge
Play Video
Hungarian Partridge

Partridge

Hungarian Partridge

Gray Partridge

Shot Size:

6

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Wyoming

Mark Peterson wraps up his time in Wyoming upland hunting with an epic partridge hunt. Does he run into some chukars along the way? Take a look inside this episode to find out!

Mark Peterson Chukar Partridge
Play Video
chukar-partridge

Partridge

Chukar Partrige

Shot Size:

6 and 7 1/2

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Oregon

Mark and Earl set out to check species number 21, the chukar, off their upland slam list. Typically chukars live at higher elevations making it an earned feat to harvest one. Can Mark and Earl battle steep rocky terrain at over 4000 feet in elevation?

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Pheasant

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Mark Peterson hunting Pheasant in Nebraska
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Ring-necked Pheasant

Pheasant

Ring-Necked Pheasant

Shot Size:

4, 5 and 6

Gauge:

12

Location:

Western Nebraska

Mark and Earl set out to check species number 22, the Pheasant, off their upland slam list. Pheasant is the number one hunted upland species on the slam. Pheasants can be found in the majority of the US and can be found from sea level all the way up to 11,000 feet above sea level. Two days of hunting produce lots of pheasants, lots of misses, and lots of memories. The breasts of these birds are served great wrapped in bacon and grilled or smoked. 

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Ptarmagin

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Mark Peterson Willow Ptarmagin
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Willow Ptarmagin

Ptarmigan

Willow Ptarmigan

Shot Size:

7 1/2

Gauge:

12

Location:

Alaska

In Part 2, Mark Peterson continues his quest to complete the Upland Slam of 27 bird species. Mark is in Alaska hunting the three species of ptarmigan; willow ptarmigan, white-tailed ptarmigan and rock ptarmigan. This is a two part episode where Mark is hunting with his father Earl as they cover miles of rocky terrain in search of these elusive birds in the high elevations of Alaska.

Mark and Earl Peterson with Rock Ptarmagin
Play Video
Rock Ptarmagin

Ptarmigan

Rock Ptarmigan

Shot Size:

7 1/2

Gauge:

12

Location:

Alaska

In Part 2, Day 2, Mark Peterson continues his quest to complete the Upland Slam of 27 bird species. Mark is in Alaska hunting the three species of ptarmigan; willow ptarmigan, white-tailed ptarmigan and rock ptarmigan. This is a two part episode where Mark is hunting with his father Earl as they cover miles of rocky terrain in search of these elusive birds in the high elevations of Alaska.

Mark Peterson completes Ptarmagin Slam
Play Video
White-tailed Ptarmagin

Ptarmigan

White-Tailed Ptarmigan

Shot Size:

7 1/2

Gauge:

12

Location:

Alaska

In Part 2, Day 2, Mark Peterson continues his quest to complete the Upland Slam of 27 bird species. Mark is in Alaska hunting the three species of ptarmigan; willow ptarmigan, white-tailed ptarmigan and rock ptarmigan. This is a two part episode where Mark is hunting with his father Earl as they cover miles of rocky terrain in search of these elusive birds in the high elevations of Alaska.

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Quail

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Mark Peterson and father Earl hunt Northern Bobwhite Quail
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Northern Bobwhite Quail

Quail

Northern Bobwhite Quail

Shot Size:

7 1/2

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Kansas

Mark and Earl travel down to the great state of Kansas in hops to knock another quail species off their list, the North American Bobwhite Quail. These quail hold very tight and fly spastically from their covey. River bottoms and thick grasslands are the favorite habitat of choice of these fast fliers. A river crossing and a broken up covey allow Mark to check the Bobwhite Quail off his list.

Mark Peterson Gambel's Quail hunting
Play Video
Gambel's Quail

Quail

Gambel's Quail

Shot Size:

7 1/2

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Arizona

Today Mark sets out to harvest the Gambel’s and Scaled quail, but doesn’t know what the whole day will have in store. Turns out Mark’s not only completes the Arizona Upland slam but Mark ends up harvesting all three Arizona species of quail; the mearns, the gambel’s, and the scaled quail in one day. Not that many people can say they have even completed the Arizona Quail slam let alone do it in one day. Congrats Mark!

Mark Peterson with his dogs hunting Mearns Quail
Play Video
Mearns Quail

Quail

Mearns Quail

Montezuma Quail

Shot Size:

7 1/2

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Arizona

Today Mark sets out to harvest the Gambel’s and Scaled quail, but doesn’t know what the whole day will have in store. Turns out Mark’s not only completes the Arizona Upland slam but Mark ends up harvesting all three Arizona species of quail; the mearns, the gambel’s, and the scaled quail in one day. Not that many people can say they have even completed the Arizona Quail slam let alone do it in one day. Congrats Mark!

Mark Peterson hunting Scaled Quail in Arizona
Play Video
Scaled Quail

Quail

Scaled Quail

Blue Quail

Shot Size:

7 1/2

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Arizona

Today Mark sets out to harvest the Gambel’s and Scaled quail, but doesn’t know what the whole day will have in store. Turns out Mark’s not only completes the Arizona Upland slam but Mark ends up harvesting all three Arizona species of quail; the mearns, the gambel’s, and the scaled quail in one day. Not that many people can say they have even completed the Arizona Quail slam let alone do it in one day. Congrats Mark!

Mark Peterson Valley Quail
Play Video
Valley Quail - California Quail

Quail

Valley Quail

California Quail

Shot Size:

7 1/2

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Southern Oregon

Mark and his Father Earl are in Southern Oregon hunting Valley Quail, a unique species found in heavy concentration in Southern Oregon and Northern California. With the help of good hunting dogs, sunny conditions, and rocks (to get the quail out of the briar-patches) Mark and his father Earl are able to go home with two beautiful birds.

Mark & Earl Peterson hunt Mountain Quail
Play Video
Mountain Quail

Quail

Mountain Quail

Shot Size:

7 - Steel

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Northern California

Mark and his Father Earl are in Northern California hunting mountain quail, a unique species found in heavy concentration in Southern Oregon and Northern California. They have their dogs along for this fast and furious hunt. Mark bags a quail right out of the gate, but check out this episode to see if his father Earl is able to do the same.

Mark & Earl Peterson with Elegant Quail
Play Video

Quail

Elegant Quail

Shot Size:

6 or 7 1/2

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Sonora, Mexico

26 different Upland birds across 10 states and 3 countries have all come down to this; the Elegant Quail. The final upland bird to complete the North American Upland slam in a single season; 27 Upland Species. Mark and Earl travel to Sonora Mexico where the Elegant Quail populations are thriving. After spending over 100 days in the field and walking over 400 miles Mark completes the North American Upland Slam! COMPLETED!!!

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Grouse

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Mark Peterson Spruce Grouse
Play Video
Spruce Grouse

Grouse

Spruce Grouse

Shot Size:

7 1/2

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Saskatchewan, Canada

Mark and Earl travel to Safari River Outfitter in Saskatchewan, Canada to chase a couple different Upland species. First up is the Snipe on day one in cold wet snowy weather. Day two has Mark and Earl stomping through this pine and aspen groves to find a Spruce grouse or Ruff Grouse. Canada is slightly different than how Michigan used to be as Mark and Earl find out after getting into a mess of Ruffed Grouse.

Mark Peterson Blue Grouse
Play Video
Blue Grouse - Sooty Grouse

Grouse

Blue Grouse

Sooty Grouse

Shot Size:

7 1/2

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Wyoming

Mark Peterson continues his quest to complete the Upland Slam of 27 bird species in a single season and is headed to Wyoming in search of Blue Grouse. Once again, faced with the upcoming winter season, Mark must connect on a Blue Grouse or his chances of completing the upland slam may have to wait another year.

Mark Peterson Blue Grouse / Dusky Grouse
Play Video
Blue Grouse - Dusky Grouse

Grouse

Blue Grouse

Dusky Grouse

Shot Size:

7 1/2

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Wyoming

Mark Peterson continues his quest to complete the Upland Slam of 27 bird species in a single season and is headed to Wyoming in search of Blue Grouse. Once again, faced with the upcoming winter season, Mark must connect on a Blue Grouse or his chances of completing the upland slam may have to wait another year.

Play Video
Sage Grouse

Grouse

Sage Grouse

Shot Size:

5 and 6

Gauge:

12

Location:

Wyoming

Mark Peterson is still in Wyoming and will be hunting opening day of Sage Grouse with his dad, Earl. Join them and their dogs on this high elevation hunt in some of the best Sage Grouse habitat in the country.

Mark Peterson Greater Prairie Chicken
Play Video
Greater Prairie Chicken

Grouse

Greater Prairie Chicken

Pinnated Grouse

Shot Size:

5 and 6

Gauge:

12

Location:

South Dakota

Mark Peterson ventures to South Dakota for prairie chickens and sharp-tailed grouse. South Dakota is well known as the pheasant hunting capital of the world, but with its rolling prairie lands, also holds great habitat and numbers of prairie chicken and sharp-tail grouse. Take a look as Mark chases both and find out if he connects.

Mark and Earl Peterson hunt Sharp-Tailed Grouse with their dogs
Play Video
Sharp-tailed Grouse

Grouse

Sharp-Tailed Grouse

Shot Size:

6

Gauge:

12

Location:

South Dakota

Mark Peterson ventures to South Dakota for prairie chickens and sharp-tailed grouse. South Dakota is well known as the pheasant hunting capital of the world, but with its rolling prairie lands, also holds great habitat and numbers of prairie chicken and sharp-tail grouse. Take a look as Mark chases both and find out if he connects.

Mark Peterson Ruff Grouse
Play Video
Ruffed Grouse

Grouse

Ruffed Grouse

Shot Size:

6 and 7 1/2

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Saskatchewan, Canada

Mark and Earl travel to Safari River Outfitter in Saskatchewan, Canada to chase a couple different Upland species. First up is the Snipe on day one in cold wet snowy weather. Day two has Mark and Earl stomping through this pine and aspen groves to find a Spruce grouse or Ruff Grouse. Canada is slightly different than how Michigan used to be as Mark and Earl find out after getting into a mess of Ruffed Grouse.

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Dove

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Mark Peterson Eurasian Collared Dove
Play Video
Eurasian Collared Dove

Dove

Eurasian Collared Dove

Ringnecked Dove

Shot Size:

7 1/2, 8, or 9

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Sonora, Mexico

This journey takes Mark and Earl to Sonora Mexico in the hopes of harvesting 3 dove species; the Eurasian Collared Dove, The White Winged Dove, and the Inca Dove. This is unlike any upland species yet, where Mark and Earl line up in rows and test their shoulder strength putting hundreds and hundreds of Kent cartridges through their Benelli shotguns each day.

Mark Peterson Inca Dove
Play Video
Inca Dove

Dove

Inca Dove

Shot Size:

7 1/2, 8, or 9

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Sonora, Mexico

This journey takes Mark and Earl to Sonora Mexico in the hopes of harvesting 3 dove species; the Eurasian Collared Dove, The White Winged Dove, and the Inca Dove. This is unlike any upland species yet, where Mark and Earl line up in rows and test their shoulder strength putting hundreds and hundreds of Kent cartridges through their Benelli shotguns each day.

Mark Peterson White-winged Dove
Play Video
White Winged Dove

Dove

White Winged Dove

Shot Size:

7 1/2, 8, or 9

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Sonora, Mexico

This journey takes Mark and Earl to Sonora Mexico in the hopes of harvesting 3 dove species; the Eurasian Collared Dove, The White Winged Dove, and the Inca Dove. This is unlike any upland species yet, where Mark and Earl line up in rows and test their shoulder strength putting hundreds and hundreds of Kent cartridges through their Benelli shotguns each day.

Mark Peterson Mourning Dove
Play Video
Mourning Dove

Dove

Mourning Dove

Shot Size:

7 1/2, 8, or 9

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Wyoming, and Sonora, Mexico

This journey takes Mark and Earl to Sonora Mexico in the hopes of harvesting 3 dove species; the Eurasian Collared Dove, The White Winged Dove, and the Inca Dove. This is unlike any upland species yet, where Mark and Earl line up in rows and test their shoulder strength putting hundreds and hundreds of Kent cartridges through their Benelli shotguns each day.

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Snipe

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Mark Peterson Snipe
Play Video
Snipe

Snipe

Snipe

Shot Size:

7 1/2

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Saskatchewan, Canada

Mark and Earl travel to Safari River Outfitter in Saskatchewan, Canada to chase a couple different Upland species. First up is the Snipe on day one in cold wet snowy weather. Day two has Mark and Earl stomping through this pine and aspen groves to find a Spruce grouse or Ruff Grouse. Canada is slightly different than how Michigan used to be as Mark and Earl find out after getting into a mess of Ruffed Grouse.

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Woodcock

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Mark and Earl Peterson hunt Woodcock in Michigan
Play Video
woodcock

Woodcock

Woodcock

Shot Size:

7 1/2

Gauge:

20 or 12

Location:

Michigan

Mark and Earl stay in their home state of Michigan to try and hit it just right for the Woodcock Flight. The Woodcock, also known as a timberdoodle, is a bird that is extremely hard to harvest as it lives in very dense forest. In two days of hunting Woodcock Mark and Earl are able to harvest a handful but they definitely fire more rounds than they bag. “The woodcock is a humbling upland bird to hunt,” Mark said.

The Dogs

Mark's Dog

Shooter

Breed:

Brittany Spaniel

Mark's Dog

Arrow

Breed:

Brittany Spaniel

Mark's Dog

Missy

Breed:

Brittany Spaniel

Earl Peterson with his dog Tiny

Earl's Dog

Tiny

Breed:

Brittany Spaniel

Guns, Ammo & Gear

Shotguns & Shells

Himalayan Snowcock – Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 12 gauge Modified with Kent Ultimate Fast Lead 4

Ptarmagin – Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 12 gauge with Kent Ultimate Fast Lead 7 1/2

Sharp-tailed & Prairie Chicken – Benelli 828U 12 gauge Improved/Modified with Kent Ultimate Fast Lead 5

Sage Grouse – Benelli 828U 12 gauge Improved/Modified with Kent Ultimate Fast Lead 6 (early season) 5 (late season)

Blue Grouse, Woodcock, Gambel Quail & Scaled Quail, Valley Quail – Benelli Ethos 20 gauge Improved with Kent Ultimate Fast Lead 7 1/2

Mountain Quail – Benelli Ethos 20 gauge Improved with Kent Upland Fasteel 7 (CA)

Mearns Quail, Ruffed & Spruce Grouse, Partridge & Chukar – Benelli Ethos 20 gauge Improved with Kent Ultimate Fast Lead 6

Resources:

TRIPLE THREAT

SUPER SLAM

of North American Big Game

29 Species