Upland Bird Hunting
Montana Bird Hunting Season:
September 1 through December 15 but LOC hunts only available from mid-September through mid-October.
Ruffed Grouse, Blue Grouse, and Spruce Grouse
28, 20, 16, and 12. Open chokes with 6-8 ½ shot.
Northwest Montana Bird Hunting
If you’re a fan of serious upland bird hunting, this is an experience you should consider! This northwest corner of Montana consistently has good populations of what are referred to in the west as mountain grouse; ruffed, blue and spruce and LOC has over 100 square miles of hunting area permitted by the Kootenai National Forest.
Blue grouse, the largest of the three species are found in good numbers throughout the area. They frequent subalpine terrain featuring open ridgetops with stands of conifers, and feed on a variety of insects, berries, and plants. They are slate gray and camouflage well against their rocky environment.
Spruce grouse are found in healthy numbers and frequent deeper woods, thick coniferous areas, and feed on insects, clover, berries, and evergreen needles. They are darker than blue grouse and sometimes appear blue-black. Spruce grouse, while not considered flyers, are a lovely bird and make an interesting addition to the trophy room.
Ruffed grouse, though populations are cyclical by nature, are found in great numbers. They inhabit logged areas with ten to thirty year old regrowth, coniferous forest edges, alder and aspen groves and creek bottoms. They feed on insects, clover, berries and other plants, are mottled brown or gray and are especially flyers. It has been said many times that ruffed grouse are the king of the upland birds, and we agree. To that end we devote most of time in pursuit of these fine birds. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching a dog flush or point a ruffed grouse and making a clean shot just before it disappears into the darkest cover.
Access to covers is via logging roads and terrain is moderate. To be sure the ground is uneven and covers can be thick but it’s not uncommon on a good year to hunt hard all day and flush twenty or more birds.
As is the case with all upland hunting, solid, well-trained dogs add another dimension to the hunt. Personally we prefer flushing dogs and currently run golden retrievers. But pointers are great too and your dogs are welcome here at Linehan Outfitting Company.
The grouse season opens September 1st but we prefer to wait until the middle/end of September for our hunts when temperatures have started to cool and the foliage is beginning to drop.