Your article Upland Game Birds in the Oct. 10 issue was the most interesting and comprehensive coverage given this subject by any magazine to date.
However, this has brought forth an argument among some of my fellow hunters and myself, and we would like your verdict.
In brief, the question is this: Does the length of a shotgun barrel determine the density of the pattern or the range of the shot? I contend that two shotguns bored with the same choke, having the same gauge, loaded with identical shells but with barrels of different length, will fire the same pattern at the same distance.
JACK R. CLAGHORN
?Mr. Claghorn is right. The length of the barrel affects the velocity of the shot but not the pattern. The pattern is controlled by the choke.—ED.
THE BIG BLUES
Regarding Upland Game Birds, why limit the range of the fool hen to the Rocky Mountains south of Montana? They are very plentiful here and provide easy game for the inexperienced and lazy car hunters.
But for top sport, why not mention the true dusky grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) alias blue, Richardson's or Flemming's? This big, elusive bird flushes well from its feeding grounds on high alpine meadows, providing an endless variety of wing shooting. They are by no means rare birds and their range covers most of the Rocky Mountains. Their size too makes them a desirable table bird. A mature male measures some 20 inches and weighs well over five pounds. From a sportsman's viewpoint the fool hen (Canachites canadensis), alias spruce or dusky, is not in the same league with the big blues.
L. A. MULDOUN
? SI was reporting on the dusky grouse. Mr. Muldoun apparently believes that only Canachites canadensis (spruce grouse) are popularly known as fool hen, but both subspecies of Dendragapus obscurus (dusky grouse) share this common name.—ED.
I was interested in Artist Menaboni's conception of the chukar partridge as compared to those we raise. They are identical, except that the white bib is not as deep on our chukars. I know that there are variations of this partridge and would be interested in knowing the difference. Your article, Upland Game Birds, was informative, the illustrations beautiful.
JOHN T. LOVE JR.
Royal Oak, Md.
?Specimens of chukar partridges have been imported from every part of their native habitat, which ranges from Turkey to India to China. Slight differences of marking and coloration can therefore be found on chukar partridges in this country, depending on their descent from original stock.—ED.
THE HIGH COST OF PATTERGE
I feel it my privilege to enter objections against your October 10 MEMO FROM THE PUBLISHER in which our friend Harry Phillips implied that the average cost to the hunter is over $16.50 for the pleasure and satisfaction of bringing home one measly little patterge (the proper pronunciation in Tennessee, but often miscalled partridge by others).