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Outdoors blog

Mon., Oct. 21, 2013, 7:13 a.m.

Hunting dusky grouse can give you the blues

Rich Landers' English setter, Scout, poses under golden larch with a dusky grouse the duo bagged in the Selkirk Mountains in October. (Rich Landers)
Rich Landers' English setter, Scout, poses under golden larch with a dusky grouse the duo bagged in the Selkirk Mountains in October. (Rich Landers)

HUNTING -- Hunting dusky grouse with a pointing dog is one part bliss and several parts misery and despair.

Duskies -- the name given a decade ago to the former "blue grouse" east of the Cascades -- are notoriously fickle about holding to a point.  

They might hold, as did the one pictured above, or they may not.

They might fly up in a tree and look at you or they may flush at the hint that you're coming their way and rocket downhill a quarter mile into the timber.

They like high ridges and openings at the edges of timber. Often the terrain is rocky.

It can be tough going -- and tough shooting.

I liken dusky hunting to a chukar hunt with timber mixed in to increase the shooting difficulty factor.

I was one for three on Saturday with two other birds flushing a full 40 yards away from Scout's solid point.

Tough quarry. 




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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