And what constitutes an escape route for these bombers consists of is quick elevation change. This helps us look like rockstars behind the scatterguns and keeps the pooches happy when your not shooting inches over their head. Many big game bow hunters will add a rubber-tipped arrow to their quiver, which offers ample impact to bag a bird that doesn’t demand much in the way of killing. and U.S. 40, 37, 181, 201, 211, 301 and 441. It could be totally different in Idaho. Most others rely on shotguns of various gauges, often with an even-keeled dog at their side. The grouse hunting season spanning from Sept. 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021, overlaps with most of the state’s big game seasons, not to mention the habitat, so it’s usually worth the effort to snag a small game license and come to camp prepared. *** A little tip for you: When you find them, stay within that relative elevation. For that matter, they may fail to show up at all in otherwise ideal habitat. I’ve even found camp spots ahead of time by seeing other campers parked in the woods. Please note this can vary according to where you live. All rights reserved. My pup’s current Union contract clearly states that these rules don’t apply to him.). I’ve walked through perfect habits, I mean the correct elevation and a buffet fit for a grouse king and not seen a single bird. This is super important this time of year as it can get damn hot out and they like to cool their throats down. (pics) Thread starter COrookie; Start date Sep 10, 2020; Sep 10, 2020 #1 C. COrookie Member . (Yea, yea, get your dog steady to wing and shot and this isn’t a problem. Whether you’re stalking big game or on a dedicated bird hunt, it’s likely you’ll stumble across at least a few dusky (or blue) grouse in the hills of northwest Colorado. A complete guide to hunting for Western Colorado, Colorado hunters are on the prowl for North America’s largest feline. The dusky, aka blue, grouse is the only animal known to fly to higher elevations in the winter. If you do, get ready, as they are nearby. So I won’t give you exact elevations, but I think you can put a good guess on what it will be like in your area according to this: 1st - 3rd Week of September: I hunt sage fields that have have aspen patches nearby. Contents of this site are © Copyright 2020 Colorado Hunter. Look for small trickling streams. Good grouse dogs are something of a rare bird themselves. Big brother is watching, so don’t do anything you wouldn’t want to show up on Youtube out there. We’ll get to food and elevation shortly, the two other important factors in finding them. This is their primary food source for the winter. Feel free to comment below with your advice to those frustrated beginners out there in need of a little guidance. Joined Aug 4, 2020 Messages 18 Location Colorado. Dusky Grouse in Colorado: A Guide to Hunting and Viewing Introduction Dusky grouse, formerly known as blue grouse, can be found in suitable habitats in all of Colorado’s mountainous areas. If there is snow on the ground you can sometimes find their tracks. Katherine said, “You have to pound ground when you’re hunting grouse. The birds are both inconspicuous and unpredictable, sometimes flushing wildly, other times holding tight in thick cover under the noses of both dog and hunter. I never really find them in the sapling aspens like I hear that Ruffed grouse love so much, but rather the bigger trees where they can get a purchase on a solid branch after they flush. By necessity, a grouse dog works differently from other upland bird stalkers. Coming at them from this angle usually forces them to fly straight up to clear you (or your four-legged friend) before they maneuver themselves downhill and nine times out of ten, they will fly downhill. If there are aspens mixed in they will tend to fly towards the pines for cover. I’ll use a generic area that everyone knows about so no on gets butt hurt. It was a late start to the morning, but my brother and I reached the parking spot at the bottom of the mountain at about 7am. Lets hear what your thoughts are on the subject in the comments section. But I guess in a certain way it makes sense. They are used to being chased by coyotes more than humans, so the trees is a logical spot to avoid them. Again a good angle seems to be the preference. Although hunting conditions have not been ideal, there are still plenty of birds in Colorado for what is shaping up to be an average year. You may think I’m a slow learner and I would have to agree with you, but sometimes the things hardest learned are the things we learn best. If the heat is cranked up, I also look for nearby, small patches of conifers where they tend to hide in the shade, attempting to cool off. It was cold, about an inch or two of snow covered the ground and mountains were surreal … In Colorado we have about 6 of those with the most targeted being the dusky grouse. The trickling stream isn’t quite as important as they’re feeding on leaves that probably give them enough water at this point. They inhabit at least portions of 43 of Colorado’s 63 counties. And while they may not be the first two words that come to mind as you choke down the unexpected shot of adrenaline, that gray and white explosion actually has a name: Dusky Grouse. With lush forage tucked beneath its signature cloak of quaking aspens, Routt National Forest northeast of Craig traditionally accounts for a significant percentage of all the dusky grouse harvested statewide by hunters. Some complain about it (it’’s not like the old days!) Unless the tracks are completely iced over (therefore being old) I almost always find them nearby.