Blue (sooty) grouse

quail hound

Moderator
I believe I've finally figured out how to find these elusive mountain birds. We saw about 20 plus a bonus covey of mountain quail in a couple hour run yesterday at 8,500'. I'm getting really excited to get this season started.View attachment 8418
View attachment 8419
 

calamari

Member
That's about the shot you'll get at them too. Some fly. Most don't in my experience. Finger meadows had birds that flew more often but very close so we had to make spreader loads for skeet chokes in our 20 ga.s. Taste the same as on the wing however. Delicious.
 

quail hound

Moderator
All the birds we saw flew very well, a handful lit in a near by branch (like the one pictured) but had no issue getting up.
 

calamari

Member
For some reason the birds on the East side of the crest flew more willingly than the ones on the West side and provided an actual hunt. Cover was sparser on the East and the altitude higher. There were more aggressive raptors on the East side too which may have made them jumpier. On the West side I've had them walk into camp and sit on a log 10' from me. If they flew for you Robert, enjoy an experience I seldom had on the West side in its thicker cover.
 

quail hound

Moderator
I think having dogs on the ground helps with the flying, the birds held real well but as I walked in on the point they flushed and only a handful hit the nearest low branch. One flush was a popcorn flush with 14 birds from my best count and I'd say 10 of them looked to be young of year.
 
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