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Thread: Blue Grouse Season!

  1. #1

    Default Blue Grouse Season!

    Time to breath some life back into this small game Forum...

    They've been hooting for a couple weeks now, and although it seems to have turned back into November they're still at it!

    Here's some clips from last years season and a picture of the nicest looking of the three that my buddy and I got!


    Not a lot of post-holing this year - almost easy!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsJDUFciw48
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J8xaWSnBBA
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    Member PG13's Avatar
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    Default Bucket List

    It's on my list of things to do before I die. Probably sooner than later like most things due to the physical effort they seem to inflict. If birds had more protein I wouldn't hunt an ungulate ever again.
    Go Big Red!

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    Was attacked by one a few days ago. It still amazes me how the specie has survived. They crack me up!

  4. #4

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    haha! Good thing they don't have spurs eh?! What they lack in smarts they make up for in numbers - the females (arguably the more important grouse sex) tend to be a bit more interested in self preservation. Males are only "dumb" for a few months out of the year too but boy do those hormones go to their heads!

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1429122992.408323.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1429123034.511701.jpg
    Hard to beat hooter season!


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    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    I cant remeber, are less huntable with a dog this time of year?
    "If I could shoot a game bird and still not hurt it, the way I can take a trout on a fly and release it, I doubt if I would kill another one." George Bird Evans

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyt View Post
    I cant remeber, are less huntable with a dog this time of year?
    They're usually in tree's or at the base of trees Hooting - A dog is a great help grabbing downed birds. I followed a faint feather trail a couple hundred yards downhill after shooting one out of the tree and it took me almost an hour to track it down. A dog placed at the bottom of the tree would have had it in about 15 seconds. I need a retriever!

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    Busted up my ankle pretty good in March and haven't been able to get out. Drives me crazy to hear them hooting around town and not being able to go after them. Cracks me up to hear them hooting when it's blowing 20 and snow/raining. Guess that's what it takes to get lucky!
    I wouldn't hunt without a dog, hiking up, then down and then back up for every bird is a PITA. Dogs will flush females also, I tend to leave them though unless its early season.
    It's going to be weird not taking the snowshoes this year, first year I can remember in a loooong time.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by akrader View Post
    Busted up my ankle pretty good in March and haven't been able to get out...Cracks me up to hear them hooting when it's blowing 20 and snow/raining. Guess that's what it takes to get lucky!
    Bum deal about the ankle Rader - pre-hunting injuries are my worst nightmare. I got very lucky yesterday in the snow/rain/wind. There were several others nearby but the ventriloquist I went after led us to some cliffy steep stuff that was a little outside my comfort zone - other hoots came from even more sketchy areas.
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  10. #10

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    Also - does anyone else hunting with round-nosed lead .22 have the same problem I am having? The first shot is a decent neck shot that either knock the bird out of the tree but they recover and run, or manage to fly to the next clump of trees and hide. This has happened to 3 birds this season already. I've recovered them all but it has taken a long time and I'd rather not mortally wound a grouse then potentially loose it, or waste daylight and energy tracking down a bird that shoulda folded in the first place.

    Entry wounds are on the left side of neck, exits are on right side of neck. Lower shot was #1, upper was #2 about 20 minutes later, grouse was motionless in a tree about 75 yards downhill.

    Should I try out some hollowpoint?
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  11. #11
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1429472572.907426.jpg

    Had a decent day yesterday too. I'm using CCI Standard Velocity solids. Seems to put 'em down hard.


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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoonahtic View Post
    Also - does anyone else hunting with round-nosed lead .22 have the same problem I am having? The first shot is a decent neck shot that either knock the bird out of the tree but they recover and run, or manage to fly to the next clump of trees and hide.

    Should I try out some hollowpoint?

    Those are some of the risks in taking a neck shot, so I doubt the bullet has much to do with it, because even with high velocity HP ammo, the bullet doesn't spend enough time in the bird to mushroom out, it just goes right through. The neck really doesn't have much in the way of vitals, so if you don't hit the spinal cord they're probably going to fly/run off. Same reason I hate taking that shot for deer, just not enough to anchor them if you miss the narrow range of vitals. Sometimes with a neck shot you'll just get skin, the crop, or even the hoot sack itself. Try for the head if you can, but if you're not confident in the shot because you're 20 feet in the air straddling a skinny branch of a tree with one arm, then go with a body shot you know will do the job rather than risk losing the bird.

  13. #13
    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akrader View Post
    Busted up my ankle pretty good in March and haven't been able to get out. Drives me crazy to hear them hooting around town and not being able to go after them. Cracks me up to hear them hooting when it's blowing 20 and snow/raining. Guess that's what it takes to get lucky!
    I wouldn't hunt without a dog, hiking up, then down and then back up for every bird is a PITA. Dogs will flush females also, I tend to leave them though unless its early season.
    It's going to be weird not taking the snowshoes this year, first year I can remember in a loooong time.
    I guess I was asking, because I hunt with pointing dogs. Sorry I wasn't clear. Are they worth trying with pointing dogs? Thaanks for the responses!
    "If I could shoot a game bird and still not hurt it, the way I can take a trout on a fly and release it, I doubt if I would kill another one." George Bird Evans

  14. #14
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    Don't know how much luck you would have with pointers, you could get lucky and find a few hens. Our two dogs flushed 3 hens in 6 hours of hiking around on Saturday, but the dogs are just running around, not working. Males spend most of their day in the trees right now.

    We had good luck on Saturday, lots of birds hooting, more in the afternoon than in the morning. Hate to say it but we ran into an issue being able to locate hooters because there were so many close together. No concerns about the population #'s around here! I'll try to get some pics uploaded.

  15. #15
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    I must be blind and deaf but after a few hunts over the years I finally got my first grouse!

    Sobie2

  16. #16
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Ok I have to schedule this for 2016. I am inspired by all the post, and need to complete my Alaska Slam of grouse and ptarmigan. Thanks for sharing your posts.
    http://www.myfishingpictures.com/watermark.php?file=133776
    Jedi Salmon Powers Activated!
    www.alaskansalmonslayers.com


  17. #17
    Member AKducks's Avatar
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    I miss hooter hunting! it's very unique and always an adventure.

  18. #18
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Hot and sunny weather last week of the season seemed to put a damper on hooting activity. Otherwise it was an outstanding season with no snow to deal with. Great times in the woods this spring!


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  19. #19

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    Good onya Chisana - I hiked uphill a few days ago, sweated up a storm. I thought someone musta already been to that hillside since I didn't hear anything, maybe they were too busy sweating. Was one hooting on a stump at Salmon Reservoir yesterday taunting me while I was fishing Brookies.

  20. #20
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoonahtic View Post
    Good onya Chisana - I hiked uphill a few days ago, sweated up a storm. I thought someone musta already been to that hillside since I didn't hear anything, maybe they were too busy sweating. Was one hooting on a stump at Salmon Reservoir yesterday taunting me while I was fishing Brookies.
    Thanks man! Seems like I typically hear them hooting well into June, but around it here it has been pretty quiet lately.

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