Grouse Hunting 101 - Keep Dogs Upslope

Grouse Hunting 101 - Keep Dogs Upslope

I spend every fall trekking around the mountains for Blue (Dusky) Grouse. They are fun to hunt and they are absolutely delicious.

moss-kirstie with dogs 1

I look forward to this season each year and have learned so much about the nuances of grouse hunting. I have become a student of their feeding patterns, flight patterns, and general behaviors.

Each year, I learn something new!

Here’s a great tip for hunting mountain blue grouse… keep your dogs upslope to flush.

I realize this may seem counterintuitive to some, so bear with me here! Blue Grouse are typically located on the ridges of mountains with good coniferous cover.

The terrain can be steep and is often riddled with deadfall. Thus, walking isn’t typically easy.

Combine this with the fact that grouse will ALWAYS flush downhill and you can see that getting a clear shot can be difficult. moss-kirstie dogs 2

It took me some time, but I found that keeping my dog on the upslope improved my odds!

Based solely on the fact that the birds will flush downhill 100% of the time, you have a much better chance of getting a grouse in a good shooting lane as it crosses in front (or behind) you.

Should your dog flush a grouse on the downslope, it is nearly impossible to get a shot on a grouse flying downhill and away from you as their flight patterns take them directly into the branches as they fly down.

Visibility becomes very limited once they break downhill and you can typically kiss that opportunity goodbye.

Next time you have an opportunity to hunt mountain Blue (Dusky) Grouse, try this flushing tip. You will definitely have better success!

About the Author

Kirstie Pike

Kirstie Pike is the founder and CEO of Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women, the leading edge for women’s performance hunting gear for nine years and running.
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