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I live in Greeley. After elk season is over this weekend I would like to take my dog grouse hunting. I know of a few spots but they are 3-4 hours from home. Can anyone suggest a spot we could get into some grouse closer to home. I was hoping for somewhere around Big Thompson, Poudre Canyon. or some where else on the northern front range. Feel free to PM me.
Thanks for the help,
No help, but good luck and I hope there are more grouse where you are going than where I've been hunting! We've only seen one grouse this season! Bright side is we saw a lot of Snowshoe rabbits!
I've only ran into them twice in this season above 9000' NW of Red Feather Lakes. Good excuse to be out in the woods after archery season. That first week of October is a great time to be in the mountains.
Any of you all have any tips for hunting them. I shoot them from time to time with a arrow during elk season . I have never went out just for them. I have a 2 year old lab. We hunted pheasants a lot last year and a couple trips to OK hunting quail. I thought might be a good primer for pheasant season. Better than sitting home.
Blues have a daily cycle that they follow pretty much regularly. The roost in evergreens and fly down in the morning sorta like turkeys and then begin their daily stroll downhill feeding as they go and ending up near a water source. Later they head back uphill and toward dusk they fly up into their roost tree for the night. I don't think they roost in the exact same trees every night though.
Not really a hunting tip I guess, but one fellow who hunts them regularly with his dog told me that he trys to start at the the top of the hills and hunts his way down through areas that would have good feed for the grouse. Mainly berries and rose hips but also a lot of greenery.
Last year I killed one in October that had already made the switch to roosting high and feeding on pine needles as they do in the winter. His crop was full of lodgepole pine needles.
Their normal daily cycle is to hide until I walk by then scare a turd out of me as they fly away when I am within 2.5 feet of them.
I saw 4 where I was at the start of last week...3 of which I could've kicked in the head...one of which basically did scare a turd out of me as I was creeping through the timber. I just about stepped on him before he flew up and into a tree...they make an awful lot of commotion when flying away startled. This was all above 10k feet...I don't have experience with grouse, but thought that was high up for a game bird.
Keep going up and you get to the ptarmigan!
That's a good looking Lab you got there JohnMC
I've seen them at the top of Cameron Pass while ptarm hunting.
I've seen ptarmigan several times in two different places, but I'm not really tempted to go all the way back to those places to hunt birds!
I usually find them up high but this year i found them mid level. Same places you see elk, you might have a fun time in elk county when there are no elk hunters and the bulls are screaming!!!!
If you are hunting with a shotgun I think the advice to go downhill is solid. If you are hunting with a bow I think it is better to hunt uphill. They fly much more readily when you spook them from above which is of course good. With a bow you want to keep them on the ground and they tend to walk away from you if you are below them. When they do fly uphill the flight tends to be shorter and sometimes you can get on them again. Have fun.
Where I was elk hunt in the Flat Tops wild area at 10, 200 ft, I ran into a few, also down near the truck at 8900 ft. This just to give you an idea of their range this time of year..
Yes, they seem to be almost anywhere in elk country. We usually get a few every year. We had grouse for dinner the first day this year. As my son picked up the bird, a bull bugled down the hill, but just kept heading away into the raging wind & fading light. 'Nothing like sticking a grouse with a bow to boost confidence in your shooting ability. 'Too far away to fit the OP's request - way south central Colo.
This last spring while trail running I saw a lot in Unit 20 along Johnny Park road. The road was still closed for the winter then but if you took some of the closed two tracks or trails I know your dog will find some. I have also seen some on a couple of the trails I that go into Indian Peaks Wilderness.
if you really want a great experience with your dog go sage grouse hunting in the NW. It is during bow season but can be worth missing a few days. When I moved to CO 28 years ago I used to take my dogs to unit 201and always had success. My trained dogs are gone and I really enjoy bowhunting more or I would still be going up there.
the gray jays get what is left if any. good food
the gray jays get what is left if any. good food
We hunted for grouse today. It rained and snowed. But the grouse were elusive.
Final found some - - At the new Scheels in Loveland