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Grey partridge: Is it real or is it a dream? Unfortunately, the number of these wildfowl has been sharply decreasing since the Fifties. Previously it could be found in the fields, behind some bushes or among the hedges, where it sheltered to nest. There were a wealth of specimens in Italy. Just ask some senior hunters: they shall tell you about the sweet chirping at dawn echoing in the air. Nowadays, however, pollution, climate change and the widespread anthropization of the countryside have led to the reduction in the number of these noble examples.

Yet - otherwise we would not have written this article - the grey partridge is still present in some areas of Italy, mainly in the Alpine Arc. So if you are among the lucky ones who still aim at partridge today, you are in the right place to discover the tips and the best chokes to reach and hunt it with satisfaction.

Besides your good skills, you shall have the pointing dog by your side, an indispensable ally that must be able to guide you when it comes to detect the prey and simultaneously avoid alerting the entire flock with which it flies. A tough and tenacious dog boasting a refined sense of smell, despite this cautious when coming up to the prey, will help you to hunt down these wildfowl as well as to prevent them from an early fluttering.

Turning to the characteristics of the shotgun for grey partridge hunting, in the table below are displayed different matchings, depending on the gauge-size, the type of barrel and several parts that we deem suitable to hit the target.

Hunting techniqueGaugeBarrel lengthSelf-loading shotgunOver and under /
Side-by-side shotgun
Shotshell G.Lead shots Nr.
Pointing dog 12 66 *** / ** **** / ** -- *** / * 34 / 36 7 / 6 / 5
Pointing dog 20 66 *** / ** **** / ** -- *** / * 38 / 30 7 / 6 / 5
Pointing dog 28 71 *** / ** **** / ** -- *** / * 24 7 / 6
Pointing dog .410 71 *** / ** **** / ** -- *** / * 18 / 19 7 / 6

The forefathers, our thoughts exactly, recommend a side-by-side shotgun for its easy handling in terms of shooting. If this is combined with the length of a standard barrel (66 or 71 cm) it is possible to cope with any hunting circumstance, both in the event that we are in the presence of an entire flock or of a single wildfowl, perhaps trying to rejoin the corvey. The standard constriction-sizes range between**** and ** or *** and * for an over and under as well as for a side-by-side shotgun, depending on the shooting distance and on the ground (plain, mountains, etc.).

Admittedly, while writing this piece we felt a bit of melancholy. Despite the information supplied, we are aware that the grey partridge remains a sparsely widespread wildfowl throughout our territoy, also repopulation should be considered an essential necessity. Nevertheless we know that it has been provided for a massive inflow of such specimens all over our country. We hope this is going to be beneficial so that it will be possible to admire, and naturally, to hunt this noble example throughout Italy again.

You have found our advice useful and are sure that you will put what you have learned into practice on your next hunting trip? Browse beyond this article! Learn how to properly use a choke and all the guides provided by Gemini , drawn up with the help of specialists, for hunting and shooting enthusiasts like you.

Our thanks go to Professor Simone Bertini and Diego Apostoli for their availability and the precious time they devoted to us for the drafting of these guides.