The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 14, 2013, 11:42 AM   #1
MDS
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 486
Grouse help

Thinking of trying my hand at grouse this year. Any suggestions on loads? I figure maybe 6. They are pretty good sized birds,right? I have an old 410 also would that be any good?
MDS is offline  
Old August 14, 2013, 12:08 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,350
Short, maneuverable gun, the most open choke you can get and shoot fast.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old August 14, 2013, 12:16 PM   #3
MDS
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 486
sounds like that leaves the single shot out. What kind of load? sure sounds like fun
MDS is offline  
Old August 14, 2013, 12:23 PM   #4
Sierra280
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 29, 2013
Location: Gardnerville, NV
Posts: 569
When I lived in western Montana many people just used their 22s with subsonic ammo. Take a good shot, and you won't ruin any meat.
Sierra280 is offline  
Old August 14, 2013, 02:30 PM   #5
Erno86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 22, 2012
Location: Marriottsville, Maryland
Posts: 499
I would go with at least a 20 or 28 gauge double, pump or autoloader. Use #7 1/2 shot for early season...#6 when the leaves are off the trees and they have more tougher feathers
__________________
That rifle hanging on the wall of the working class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."

--- George Orwell
Erno86 is offline  
Old August 14, 2013, 02:51 PM   #6
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 6,650
I don't know what kind of super grouse people encounter in Ohio, but the species out west are easy to bag. (I hunt Dusky, Ruffed, Blue, and two species of Sage/Prairie.)

I use anything from #4 to #9 shot, in .44 Mag, .444 Marlin (consider it a .410), and 12 ga.

Most first shots are 5 to 15 feet, at most. The rare occasion of a second shot is usually 20 to 45 seconds later (after a short relocation), and 20 to 40 feet, at most. So, choke doesn't matter much, and there is almost always time to reload even the slowest single-shot. I generally don't even bother trying to shoot, unless I have a head shot opportunity (at 10 feet, a 12 ga to the chest doesn't leave much bird to pick up).


An "ideal" load, for me, would be 7/8 to 1 oz of #6 shot (at standard velocity) in a shotgun that's easy to carry and quick on target.
__________________
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old August 14, 2013, 04:26 PM   #7
MDS
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 486
Cool, this sounds like a fun way to hunt. Next I have to scout out an area. One of the forest I go, has a grouse management area
MDS is offline  
Old August 14, 2013, 05:15 PM   #8
Wyoredman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 6, 2011
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 1,236
As FrankenMauser pointed out, the western upland fields are a bit less "brushy" than you may encounter in Ohio. Out here in the west, we usually shoot those Ruffy's with a .22 pistol or rifle. I have been know to fill a pot during an elk hunt with a blue grouse killed with my .30-06! We consider the Blues and the Ruffs to be "mountain grouse" and they are fair game with any weapon - from stick to slingshot to rimfire to magnum pistol and hunting rifle!

But in Wyoming, sage grouse are only permitted to be shot with shotguns. My daughter uses a Mossberg 410 loaded with 3" #4's, my wife uses a Remington 870 youth 20 gage loaded with 3" #4's and I use a Remington 870 Wingmaster 12ga. loaded with 2 3/4" #4's. Sagfe grouse are BIG birds, and #4 shot kills them dead.

So, use what is legal in Ohio, Ruffy's should die very easy with #6 in a 20 ga.
__________________
Go Pokes!
Go Rams!
Wyoredman is offline  
Old August 14, 2013, 06:11 PM   #9
buck460XVR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 1,971
#6s work well all season long. Grouse molt in the summer, so they have no more feathers later in the season than they do at the start. If it looks like they have more it is only because the fluff then up more in cold weather to trap more air for insulation. As for size, a pound and a quarter is about average. Without a dog, one should stop and pause often as you walk thru the woods, as grouse will sit tight and let you walk by, but get nervous and flush when you stop. Just make sure you stop somewhere that will present you with a shot.
buck460XVR is offline  
Old August 14, 2013, 09:18 PM   #10
tahunua001
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 5,840
there are a few different kinds. here in central-ish idaho we have ruffle grouse and blue grouse. ruffle grouse are a little smaller than pheasants, blue grouse are a little larger than your average chicken. grouse are one of the few game animals that are legal to use a rimfire on in idaho so that shows just how hard they are to take down. blue grouse for some reason don't like to drop with a 22 from a handgun but higher velocity like CCI stingers do good out of a rifle. normally a standard birdshot load from a 410 or FMJ/cast bullet from any centerfire handgun will drop them like a sack of flour.

aim for the head, the only thing worth keeping are the breasts and my older brother took my 44 lever gun to a blue grouse last fall and completely took out one of the beasts.
__________________
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the crap people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.
tahunua001 is offline  
Old August 15, 2013, 01:51 AM   #11
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 6,650
Quote:
As FrankenMauser pointed out, the western upland fields are a bit less "brushy" than you may encounter in Ohio. Out here in the west, we usually shoot those Ruffy's with a .22 pistol or rifle. I have been know to fill a pot during an elk hunt with a blue grouse killed with my .30-06! We consider the Blues and the Ruffs to be "mountain grouse" and they are fair game with any weapon - from stick to slingshot to rimfire to magnum pistol and hunting rifle!
I try not to mention centerfires and rimfires, since they were officially declared illegal for all Grouse species in Utah, a few years back. I've bagged plenty that way, and prefer it; but I don't want people to think I have been poaching since the regulations changed.
And, based on Ohio's big game regs, I figured upland game would be shotgun-only.


(I'll have to check Idaho's regs, now that I've moved. Can't hunt 'til next year, anyway; so I have some time. Waiting periods.... )
__________________
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old August 15, 2013, 08:50 AM   #12
buck460XVR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 1,971
In Wisconsin, Grouse are shotgun only too. Unlike out west and Canada, you can't knock them outta the trees with a stick. They are hunted hard, heavily pressured and know all about humans and how to avoid them. I assume the same is true in Ohio.
buck460XVR is offline  
Old August 15, 2013, 09:13 AM   #13
Wyoredman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 6, 2011
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 1,236
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankenMauser
I try not to mention centerfires and rimfires, since they were officially declared illegal for all Grouse species in Utah, a few years back
That's too bad! Most grouse I kill and eat are game of opportunity while hunting elk or deer in the back country. It just wouldn't work to carry a shotgun, rifle and side arm!

Can Utah hunters still get them with slingshots?

Dang, rules!
__________________
Go Pokes!
Go Rams!
Wyoredman is offline  
Old August 15, 2013, 04:15 PM   #14
Crankylove
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 8, 2008
Location: The land of green Jello and vanilla icecream
Posts: 1,273
Quote:
Can Utah hunters still get them with slingshots?
Nope.

Has to be either a shotgun or centerfire cartridge firing at least 1/2 oz of #8 shot. If I remember right, archery tackle isn't legal for grouse either.............but it's legal to hunt elk with a .25 auto chambered rifle (using an "expanding bullets)..........some of the regulations here are a bit odd.

I make shot shells for taking grouse (while deer/elk hunting) for my .41 Mag using cut down .30-30 cases, and can just barely fit the 1/2 oz in. I'll be making some up for my .45 Colt shortly, much easier to fit the shot load in those cases.
__________________
The answer to 1984 is 1776

Last edited by Crankylove; August 15, 2013 at 11:38 PM. Reason: Spelling errors
Crankylove is offline  
Old August 15, 2013, 05:00 PM   #15
Tad_T
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 129
I carry a .22 single action revolver cross draw while elk or deer hunting to kill grouse of opportunity.
Tad_T is offline  
Old August 16, 2013, 12:21 AM   #16
egor20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 14, 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 1,762
My wife uses a Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon I O/U with 7 1/2 shot. The birds dread her when she loads.
__________________
Chief stall mucker and grain chef

Country don't mean dumb.
Steven King. The Stand
egor20 is offline  
Old August 16, 2013, 07:15 AM   #17
MJFlores
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 8, 2013
Posts: 320
Grouse are such different birds in different parts of the country. I've seen the youtube videos of people walking down dirt roads and plinking them with a .22! Around here...grouse are as spooky as deer! Most times you only hear a flush and never even see the bird much less get a shot off. With a dog, they flush even further ahead. Very hard birds to get around here in NH. Even still, I did get one last year and it's mounted on my wall. It's a cherished trophy because they're so hard to get. Someday I'd love to hunt an area where the grouse are more cooperative...they really are an incredible game bird.
MJFlores is offline  
Old August 16, 2013, 07:18 AM   #18
Sure Shot Mc Gee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2012
Posts: 1,979
410 single shot Iver Johnson is all that I use. I prefer as light a weapon as possible. Hence the 410 fits my application. Since I reload 410s I prefer #6 in a 3". Prior to the leaves falling. I'll hunt old logging roads throughout the day. In the early morning and evenings I walk down an abandon old county dead end gravel road. I never pass up a balsam grove of trees alongside a fields edge without a overly observant slow walk thru. Those clover or alfalfa field edges are also great place for jumping both partridge & ruffled grouse. But I will not walk the dense woods for them. Leaves up or down flying birds are indeed hard to recover without having a good retrieval dog along in those circumstances. Hunting with a 410 is a bit tricky at first until you get to know its actual killing distance. After one acquires that small bit of knowledge. Birds will either be given a pass or be going home with you. Don't be one of those fellows who chase's a lone bird all over creation hoping for another & yet another shot. Let it go the first time you miss. Maybe that bird will greet you again near that same location. Maybe not. "Leaving a little seed behind never hurts." Hunting alone or with friends. Always keep an eye on the direction your barrel is pointed. Safety while in the field should be your main concern above all else.

S/S
Sure Shot Mc Gee is offline  
Old August 16, 2013, 08:16 AM   #19
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 3,505
Quote:
I have an old 410 also would that be any good?
In the East where you live, .410 bore is not considered to have enough shot in the payload to be effective on Ruffed Grouse. Most North East (Michigan is where I grew up hunting grouse), grouse hunters use open chokes...you will only get one fleeting shot at a grouse, from close range. "Speed" is the name of the game...even a slight hesitation of getting the shot off usually means no shot at all.
__________________
Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?
dahermit is offline  
Old August 16, 2013, 08:24 AM   #20
giaquir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Deerfield,New Hampshire
Posts: 399
They aren't called rocket roosters for nothing.
Up here in Nh ,once they take to the air, get
as much lead flying as you can.They can
zip around/thru a tree as fast as a lightning bolt.
giaquir is online now  
Old August 16, 2013, 09:51 AM   #21
jrothWA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 11, 2006
Posts: 1,918
Have hunted Ohio from the NE down to the SE,

think Ohio power area.

Recommend using shotgun with short barrel(s), with most open choke available ( SKEET, IM. Cyl.) for early season, then Imp Cyl / mod) for late.

Best shot in #6 & #7-1/2.

Consider getting a dog, Springer Spaniel, Brittany, Beagle. [NOTE: Must be able to handle the "dirty looks" that dog WILL cast your way for every MISS!]

Have a partner for extra comments [and for pushing vehicles out of MUD]!

Have fun and enjoy.
jrothWA is offline  
Old August 16, 2013, 10:02 AM   #22
kilimanjaro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2009
Posts: 1,638
Out here you can either knock them out of the air with a spinning axe handle, or just quietly drive your rig above them while they're picking gravel out of the road, honk your horn, and they jump up, knocking themselves out. Carry a sack in your rig to put them in.
kilimanjaro is offline  
Old August 16, 2013, 01:50 PM   #23
Wyoredman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 6, 2011
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 1,236
Kilimanjaro,

Quote:
...and they jump up, knocking themselves out.


We refer to them as "Fool Hens"! Lots of difference, it seems, from their eastern cousins!
__________________
Go Pokes!
Go Rams!
Wyoredman is offline  
Old August 16, 2013, 08:11 PM   #24
BigD_in_FL
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2012
Location: The "Gunshine State"
Posts: 1,981
Quote:
It just wouldn't work to carry a shotgun, rifle and side arm!
That's why they make drillings and vierlings...............
BigD_in_FL is offline  
Old August 18, 2013, 04:23 AM   #25
Chowder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 3, 2012
Location: Anchorage, AK
Posts: 410
I have only shot 2, and both times I was rabbit hunting with a .22. They made quite a scene when I almost stepped on them then settled on a low branch about 20 yards away. Was an easy head shot with my XT-22.
__________________
"Do what is right, do what is necessary, everything else is negotiable"

For Sale FightForTheConstitution.com
Chowder is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14579 seconds with 9 queries