Thursday, September 1, 2011

2011 Opening Day Grouse Season in Montana

Today was opening day of grouse season in Montana. Our friend Michael came last night and he and Dan headed out this morning with all the dogs. Well, almost all the dogs. Below is Dan's grouse report.

September 1, 2011 Grouse Report for Opening Day ~

It has been very hot and dry for six weeks. Yesterday afternoon we had a light shower and I was sure it would help scenting conditions and cool things off. Late in the evening a thunder storm rolled through and my hunting partner, Michael , and I hit the woods early to find everything soaking wet.

We put Blackie out on Fatman Mtn. and he hit a point not 100 yds. from the van. He worked the area but we never put up the bird. Grouse tricks. He hit another point right in front of us and a bird flushed in a direction that didn't allow a shot. Another flushed into a tree in front of Michael. It was a young Spruce Grouse. We don't see but a few of these each year. It too flew where Michael couldn't shoot and I wasn't ready. We saw another beside the road and stopped to put Gus out. The bird either flushed while we were gearing up, or outran us. We never put it up. We ran Gus and Sugar down several side roads and got nothing but wetter.

After lunch and a nap we headed up Elk Creek and spotted a pair of birds alongside the road. It was in a no shooting area but I take advantage of every opportunity to put a dog on a grouse. We put Mickey out for a few photos and went on up the canyon. We Ran Mickey and Sport but never found another bird.

See the grouse? Right side of road at grass line, just in front of the trees.

Sure Thing Sweet Mickey pointing the grouse above.

Okay, so my husband needs a few photo lessons in which end to photograph, but I am thankful that he is at least taking his camera and bringing me pictures!

I was not disappointed with only seeing five birds.  After last years poor hatch, bitter cold, and horribly wet spring, I didn't expect to see any.

We are hitting a big Aspen grove in the morning then the Bull River area. It should be dry and cool so off we go again with high hopes and happy dogs. Dan....DWT


  1. i liked his play-by-play. but your photo pointer tip comment made me LOL!

  2. I think perhaps it's the thrill of the hunt and not so much the shooting, anymore. I think the bird populations are going down, I suppose the limits have gone too. My father was an avid hunter, I can still vaguely remember him talking about "bagging the limit", with a sparkle in his eyes.

  3. I'd love to hear more about the dogs... Bloodlines, abilities, size, strengths and weaknesses. I have owned and studied the Gordon setter breed for 3 decades and am now considering "adopting" another. Please feel free to contact me with any and all pictures pedigrees, and any stories etc,, you may wish just to pass along to another Gordon fan. I am Kirk and my e-mail address is and thanks....