This report was filed by NevadAdventureS Field Editor, Jim.

The rarest game bird in North America: The Snow Cock

High in the Ruby Mountains of Northern Nevada, outside of Elko, thrives a wary natured game bird known as the Himalayan Snow Partridge. The Ruby Mountains are similar to their native habitat which is the snow covered peaks of the Himalayas. The Partridge thrive in snow covered peaks of 10,000 to 11,000 feet in elevation.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife recognized the parallel in 1960 and began a transplant of the Snow Partridge, (also known as the Snow Cock), into the rugged, remote area of the Ruby Mountains. The Snow Cock has unusually beautiful plumage with white mantels. It grows to be anywhere in the neighborhood of 6 to 11 lbs.

The wary nature of the birds and short hunting season has made the Snow Cock one of the most sought after trophies in the Northern Hemisphere. Hunters are limited to one bird in a 30 day hunting season from Labor Day thru the end of September.

The first hunt started in 1980 and up to 1987, only 32 birds were harvested, that's an average of only 4 birds a year. Low harvest numbers attest to the Snow Cock's wary nature and the ruggedness of the Ruby Mountains.

Another factor in the Snow Cock's favor is that it is NOT easy to gasp for breath at 11,000 feet and hit a bird flying down hill at 80 mph!

Be sure to check the regulations on this rare bird and considering the difficulty of locating the Snow cock, a guide is strongly recommended.

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