Blog / How to Hunt Grouse in Thick Cover: Tips and Techniques

By Connor Thomas
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Share On:

Hunting grouse in thick cover can be both challenging and rewarding for any avid hunter. Grouse are known for their elusive nature and ability to blend seamlessly into their surroundings, making them a prized game bird. Whether you're a seasoned hunter or new to the pursuit, mastering the art of hunting grouse in dense foliage requires specific strategies and techniques. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you improve your success in this exhilarating pursuit.

1. Scouting Locations

Before heading out, research and scout areas known to have healthy grouse populations. Look for dense thickets, young forests, edges of clearings, and areas with abundant food sources like berries and insects. Grouse prefer habitats that offer both cover and food, so focusing on these areas increases your chances of finding them.

2. Choosing the Right Equipment

When hunting grouse in thick cover, your equipment can significantly impact your success. Opt for a shotgun with a modified choke and smaller shot size (like 7.5 or 8) to handle close-range shots effectively. Lightweight, breathable clothing in camouflage patterns that match the surrounding foliage is essential to remain unseen and agile.

3. Utilizing Proper Techniques

Still Hunting: Move slowly and pause frequently to scan the area. Grouse may freeze or try to hide when they sense movement.

Flushing: Have a partner or a dog flush out grouse from their hiding spots. This technique can startle the birds into flight, giving you a clear shot.

Calling: Mimicking the calls of grouse can sometimes attract them, especially during the mating season or when they are separated from their coveys.

4. Patience and Observation

Grouse hunting requires patience and keen observation skills. Listen for subtle sounds like wingbeats or soft clucking noises that indicate a nearby bird. Be prepared for quick shots as grouse typically explode into flight when startled.

5. Safety Considerations

Always prioritize safety while hunting. Be aware of your surroundings and the location of your hunting partners at all times. Wear blaze orange clothing to remain visible to other hunters in dense cover.

Mastering the art of hunting grouse in thick cover takes time and practice, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Remember to scout your hunting locations thoroughly, choose the right equipment, and employ effective techniques such as still hunting, flushing, and calling. By honing these skills and staying patient and observant, you can enhance your success in pursuing this elusive game bird.

For hunters looking to experience grouse hunting across America, explore the hunting outfitters listed on Find A Hunt. Our platform connects you with reputable outfitters offering guided hunts in prime grouse habitats. Visit today to plan your next thrilling hunting adventure!

This article provides a comprehensive guide to hunting grouse in thick cover, offering practical tips and techniques to enhance your hunting experience. Whether you're a novice or seasoned hunter, following these strategies will improve your chances of success in pursuing grouse amidst dense foliage.