The red-legged partridge, a rural and audacious game bird, a captivating challenge for both dog and hunter. In environments often all but inaccessible and always picturesque, gun dogs and expert hunters put themselves to the test.
The ideal hunting grounds are interspaced by hills and small mountains from 500 to 900 metres above sea level, somewhere between the natural habitat of the grey partridge and the peaks where you will find rock partridge.
Thanks to their adaptability, once these birds have been introduced into an area they can also often be found in the lowlands, despite the fact that intensive farming techniques used in certain areas are not particularly well-suited to their habits.
Usually gregarious, one bird will often surprise both dog and hunter alike by taking flight, usually as the dogs close in after a long running chase. Typical flight is a vertical burst followed by gliding in the most favourable direction of escape.
Both a blessing and a curse for gun dogs due to its tenacious nature, the red-legged partridge sets the pace in authentic hunts, including in game reserves into which the birds are periodically released, where they can quickly return to the wild if the reserve is well-managed.
Good dogs, with stamina to spare who meticulously follow a scent are essential for a successful hunt; in fact, if the dogs do not help the hunter to get into optimal position, they risk being close enough to hear the birds burst into flight without having time to get off a shot.
Watch this fine example of how to hunt red-legged partridge, and more, in which Gianni Lugari and his gun dogs pursue red-legged and grey partridge over hills and dales where hunters can still be thrilled by the birds in flight. This and many other episodes from the video library can be downloaded with the Lugari Pocket App.