Bozeman area advice for grouse


New member
Hello everyone. Recently moved to Bozeman and have been loving it. Such a beautiful area with a lot to do. I know pheasants aren't great around Bozeman but I have heard that grouse can be good. Anything from ruffed grouse to blue grouse, maybe even huns. I wanted to see if I could possibly get some pointers on promising areas around Bozeman. I am not trying to pry into Anyones honey holes, just maybe some woods where they have seen them or know of them. I have 2 great bird dogs and love to get out and explore and find my own spots, but being new to the area and a couple weeks from the season opener I was hoping for some advice to get a kick start.
Thanks for the help!


I have not hunted the Beartooths for grouse, So I can't advise hotspots.
Except look for the Ruffs where there are drainages with aspen and brush. The lower foothills are good areas to check out..

For the Blue Grouse go high. Grassy open hillsides 6-8 thousand feet elevation. Early Sept look for areas on the South and West slopes with a mixture of grass and scattered Alpine fir. Grasshoppers are a favorite until the hard freezes. Then I would check out areas with snowberries, weed and grass seeds. Greens too, like clover, wild strawberry etc.

Nice thing about the mountain grouse is, best areas are National Forests. :thumbsup:
Mountain grouse

oh I am so sad to report,you are one year too late, we had a devastating wind event last summer , and all the chicks, plus adults were crushed by falling branches.

I am surprised you didn't hear of that !

welcome to Bozeman, JIM


New member
In Calif. Blue Grouse were as mnmthunting described as far as elevations. Often dogs would circle a tree and if you'd look there'd be one sitting there watching us. Not very sporty in thick timber but get at the tree line with sparse ground vegetation and trees and they will bail out of the trees or from brush on the edges of drop offs and require quick accurate shooting to drop them ASAP. Clip one and they'll sail dropping 500' plus in elevation and be impossible to find.
A trick question on the Calif. dept. of Fish and Game biologist tests was, "What game animal migrates to a higher elevation in the winter from its summer range?"
Blue Grouse do that and will spend the winter sitting on a fir tree limb eating needles until spring. The needles will often poke through the skin of their crops they get so many jammed in there.
Sitting on a limb is the reason if you see a lot of Coopers Hawks or Goshawks in an area you may not find many Blue Grouse.